The Minister of Child Services Danielle Lavirée visited the Bonnyville & District Daycare on Wednesday to officially cut the ribbon in celebration of the new Early Learning & Child Care grant that has allowed the daycare to further serve the community. The grant’s biggest contribution was that it subsidizes the price per day of daycare to allow for $25 a day daycare services.
“I’m excited to be here to celebrate the grand opening of the Bonnyville & District Daycare Centre,” Minister Lavirée says she is especially excited about this grant, because it hits close to home. “I am a mother of three, so I spend many years trying to find childcare. What I always expected, when I dropped my kids off, is that they would have the support that they needed in order to grow & thrive to become the amazing people, that I knew they could be. I think that’s something, every single parent, that uses childcare expects. It’s not just a place to drop them off and babysit, it’s a place that’s going to help and teach them in order to grow.”
Late last spring, The Bonnyville & District Daycare received word that it would be one of only 22 daycare centres that has been awarded the grant, “nothing has slowed down since,” laughs manager Kim Harvie. “With the grant, we have been able to increase our spaces to 71 spaces. We currently offer on average 85-100 kids per month. Thanks to our extended hours, we offer extended weekends; as well [as regular business hours].” The extended hours have allowed the daycare to assist more diverse families, that need different hours due to shift work. The daycare is now able to be open Monday to Sunday from 6:00am to 6:00pm. “The need is very evident, in our community, that we need affordable and flexible childcare. Even though we’ve increased our spaces, we still have 70 child on our waiting list.”
Kids here are experiencing what our government wants for all kids in Alberta. A great start to life. This great start needs to be available at a cost their moms and dads can afford. – The Honourable Danielle Lavirée, Alberta Minister of Child Services
Harvie says another area the grant has had a positive impact on the community is through job creation. “We have had to hire an additional 15 staff and I have another ad out for four staff members.” The daycare expanded from 40 kids to 70 in a very short period of time, allowing them to expand and hire.
“We have created partnerships,” the daycare shares a building with FCSS and the Parent Child Centre, Harvie says because of the increased activity in the building the partnerships with them has grown too.
The Bonnyville & District Daycare is a warm, bright and nurturing place. Truly a culturally inclusive environment; as well. – The Honourable Danielle Lavirée, Alberta Minister of Child Services.
“It takes a village to raise a child, and certainly that is what’s happening here in Bonnyville,” Minister Lavirée says she is delighted to see all the partnerships throughout that community. “Every family does better when a strong and supportive community comes together.”
Minister Lavirée explains that Bonnyville is a pilot program, “we announced at the start that this is a pilot program and we plan to move forward with a universal childcare initiative, across the province. Along with our Alberta Child Tax Credit and reducing school fees, investing in school nutrition programs, it all comes across as making life more affordable in Alberta.”
Also in attendance for Wednesday’s ribbon cutting was MLA Scott Cyr, Mayor of Bonnyville, Gene Sobolewski, Councillor Lorna Storoschuk and Councillor Elects, Chad Colbourne & Elisa Brosseau. For more information on the Bonnyville & District Daycare call 780-826-2101 or visit bonnyvilledaycare.ca.