Inclement Weather and Emergency Centre Closures/Evacuation

Please refer to our Inclement Weather and Emergency Centre Closures Policy.

Bright Starts may find it necessary to close the centre due to severe inclement weather, when normal operation would pose a significant danger to our staff, children and their families, or would prevent many from safely travelling to/from work. The centre must adhere to the University of Waterloo’s procedures for closure in case of inclement weather, as we rely on the University to maintain the access road and parking areas and other services.

If the University of Waterloo does not close due to severe weather, Bright Starts will still close if either the Public or Separate School Board closes. The final decision to close the centre is the responsibility of the Executive Director in consultation with the President of our Board of Directors or his/her designate.

Due to unforeseen circumstances (i.e. storm damage, power outages, equipment failure, disaster in the nearby area or other temporary problems), Bright Starts may be instructed to close or evacuate by other regulatory bodies such as the Ministry of Education, the Region of Waterloo, or the local Fire or Police Department. Parents, Guardians or Emergency Contacts will be informed by telephone should Bright Starts be closed, and you will be asked to pick up your child(ren) as soon as possible. To assist with this process, ensure that contact information is up-to-date. If necessary, the children will be evacuated to alternate facilities where parents  may pick them up. Our emergency shelter is The Columbia Ice Field Athletic Centre located on Hagey Blvd across from the School of Optometry.

Communication Procedure for Centre Closures

A decision to close the centre will be made by 6:30 a.m. when possible. Bright Starts’ telephone service and website will be updated to reflect the closure, with additional communication sent to families via email. The closure will also be communicated through UW’s Communications and Public Affairs Office and the Region’s local radio stations 96.7 CHYM FM and 570 NEWS and will be listed on their website and

Professional Development Day

Bright Starts educators participate in one professional development day annually. On the professional development day, there will be no programming. Parents will be given lots of notice of when the professional development day will be occurring to allow for alternative childcare arrangements to be made.