A new state-of-the-art child care facility is being added to St. Joseph School in South Porcupine.
The Ministry of Education has approved more than $2.2 million for the Northeastern Catholic District School Board (NCDSB) in partnership with the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board (CDSSAB) to build a licensed child care centre at the Huot Street school. There will be space for up to 49 children and programming for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers, along with before and after school programming for school-aged children.
To make space for the facility, there will be an addition to the school.
NCDSB director of education Tricia Weltz said they are just in the beginning stages of the architectural design and planning for the project.
While they want work to start as soon as possible, there is no timeline for when the facility will be open.
“We can’t make any commitments just yet on when the program will be open to the community,” Weltz said.
Once it is open, the YMCA will run the programming.
YMCA CEO Wayne Bozzer said the organization is excited to continue its strong partnership with the school board and DSAAB.
“We’ve been on this journey together and it keeps growing,” he said, adding the beneficiaries are the children.
This is the second child care facility approved by the Ministry of Education for Timmins this year.
Earlier this month, the District School Board Ontario North East announced it’s receiving more than $1.1 million to create a licensed facility at Schumacher Public School.
That project will see a portion of the school renovated to allow for the 49 new child care spaces. Work there is expected to start in the spring and its doors should be open by Jan. 1, 2019.
Both projects are part of the province’s five-year commitment to help more than 100,000 more children up the age of four access childcare.
“The CDSSAB is very pleased that this project has been approved and families in South Porcupine will have access to high quality child care within their community. Making licensed child care more affordable and more accessible for families is part of the province’s five-year commitment to help 100,000 more children zero to four access quality licensed child care over the next five years,” said Beth Nowak, CDSSAB children’s services manager, in a statement.