VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Vancouver parents who bring their kids to a popular, free preschool program may notice some changes come school time.

StrongStart in Vancouver will now be run by the Vancouver School Board, to bring it in line with the way StrongStart is administered in the rest of the province.

Until now, the daily drop-in classes were led by two teachers and operated by neighbourhood family centres. Starting in September, a lot of the classes will only have one teacher, with higher qualifications.

“We want the StrongStart centres to be early learning centres,” says the school board’s Kurt Heinrich.

He believes the move will be good for parents and kids.

“We are going to be enhancing some of the partnerships we have. We’re going to be working closely with the Vancouver Public Library, the Vancouver Park Board and UBC.”

An additional centre will be open in September, bringing the total number of StrongStarts in Vancouver to 19. Most of the centres are located in East Vancouver.

The program accommodates young children from newborn all the way to five years old. The classes run three hours a day, five days a week during the school season and are meant to introduce kids to learning and socializing with others their own age.