Advocates for the Grenfell Child Care Centre are elated to receive news of provincial funding for 25 child care spaces.
The Saskatchewan Government has allocated 500 new child care spaces to 15 communities across the province.
The allocation is based on the 2012-13 provincial budget which provided $2 million to develop 500 new child care spaces across Saskatchewan, and an additional $4 million to cover the capital costs of those new spaces.
“Increasing the number of high-quality licensed child care spaces for Saskatchewan families is a priority of this government,” Education Minister Donna Harpauer said in a release. “Investing in our children means we are investing in our future. With these new spaces, our government will have increased child care spaces by 42 per cent.”
“We are thankful to the Ministry of Education for selecting Grenfell as one of this year’s grant recipients,” GCCC Co-Chairperson Nicolle Wade wrote in an email to the Sun.
“Extensive preparation through countless volunteer hours, as well as regular emails about our progress to the Ministry and our MLA, no doubt helped us in showing our worthiness for selection.”
Wade explained the funding will be divided into several allotments, including one-time grants and a monthly grant awarded to GCCC.
The one-time grants include a Start-up Grant which will assist with the expenses incurred in the opening of a new centre; a Capital Grant which will assist with costs associated with the development, renovation/con-
struction of new child care spaces in a centre; and an Enriched Learning Environment Grant to assist with the design and implementation of an enriched learning environment.
The provincial funding will also provide a monthly Early Childhood Services Grant which will assist non-profit centres with monthly overhead and operating costs.
While actual dollar figures are not yet available, Wade did confirm GCCC will receive the one-time grants upon completion of the necessary paperwork, and the monthly grant will be awarded upon the Centre’s opening.
The funding will help offset the approximate $10,000 in improvements and upgrades that must be completed to satisfy provincial building code specifications prior to the opening and operation of GCCC.
“Our top priorities now are securing a licensed contractor for the renovations and hiring a qualified director,” Wade wrote. “While the Board of Directors has much work to do yet in order to open the daycare centre’s doors, it is largely up to others - contractors/trades workers/a new director - to complete the major tasks at hand: namely the renovations and the design and implementation of the education program and hiring of additional staff.”
Efforts for the Grenfell Child Care Centre began in April 2011 when the need for a child care facility was assessed and identified through community surveys which revealed that at least 23 children in Grenfell required full or part-time child care.
Board members say while provincial funding has been approved, grant money will only go so far and community participation and support are necessary to make GCCC a success.
“We are so appreciative of all the donations and words of encouragement we’ve received thus far and ask for your continued support with the next phase of this journey,” wrote Wade. “‘The Village’ is going to be such a positive addition to the town of Grenfell and we are very proud to have been instrumental in its development.”