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Country Kids Learning Centre working on new home

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St. Francois Xavier’s Country Kids Learning Centre is taking another step toward a new home.

At the municipality’s Feb. 18 meeting, council received the local child care centre’s request for a $34,000 grant, with $30,000 to be used for construction of a stand-alone building.

Centre board vice-chair Candy Burke said architect’s drawings have been created for the proposed 2,800 square-foot building. Construction and furnishings are estimated to cost between $650,000 and $670,000.

Burke said the building is to be placed in front of St. Francois Xavier Community School, which is an ideal spot for the centre.

"The daycare centre is the children’s first education, and having the building so close (to the school) is important," she said. "We want to have a building that we can be proud of."

This location will also be handy for parents who have younger children in the centre and school-age children. The centre currently has 24 preschool and 55 before- and after-school spaces.

The Country Kids Learning Centre has moved around, recently from rented space into the SFX School, but Burke said parents and centre board members have been working hard to fundraise about $33,000 toward the cost of a new building.

"We’ve wanted a building since the beginning," she said. "We want a home."

Having more space will allow the centre to add eight spaces for children aged two and under. Burke said this will help families who are looking for care for younger and older children, and will ultimately help the municipality to attract young families.

Looking forward to getting shovels into the ground before year end, Burke said she and the other centre board members hope that the SFX council will approve their grant request.

"We look forward to their response," she said.

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