Government grant helps save daycare in Elk Point

Play 2 Learn Child Care Ltd is reopening its Early Learning Development Center in Elk Point after a summer of renovation and rejuvenation.  Holding its open house in the near future to celebrate new beginnings and welcome parents to register their children.

The center has been awarded status as one of only 100 sites in Alberta to receive ELCC (Early Learning and Child Care) funding. Owner/operator Melanie Poulin explains that with the funding, childcare costs are capped at $25 per day. “Our operational cost is $60 per day, but a parent only ever pays $25 per day, then the government offsets the remainder of the cost. With the ELCC funding, a lower income parent who already receives a subsidy pays nothing for childcare.”

Smereka adds that Play 2 Learn follows a specific curriculum developed through MacEwan for early childhood learners. The program centers on play and experiences to teach children gross and fine motor skills as well as about their environments and how to get along with others. Under qualified supervision, kids are outside frequently, and are encouraged to explore: to play in the dirt, to smell the flowers, to watch the ants, to taste the raspberries. Interaction with the community takes place in visits to the police station, bakery, or other locations.

Part of the grant allows Poulin and Smereka to “bring in little extras that we can now offer.” Trained instructors could be hired to give music lessons, Ukrainian dance, or pre-gymnastics during the day, with potential for after school lessons for older children. Partnerships within the community could be established.

For Poulin and Smereka, the ELCC has provided direct benefits to the business and to families in Elk Point and area. The women are excited to be opening their upgraded facility and to offer quality childcare. For more information, check their website at www.play2learndaycare.ca or contact Play 2 Learn Child Care Ltd at 780-724-0007.