Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Daycare plans continue move forward in SFX

$165,000 shortfall still to be addressed

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Country Kids Learning Centre officials say they have been forced to scale back plans for a new building for the daycare.


The St. Francois Xavier-based centre requires additional space to cope with an increase in demand for its services.


Country Kids officials had originally planned to build a new 5,000-sq. ft. facility to replace its current space near the SFX country store on Highway 26.


A revised plan calls for a smaller, 3,800-sq. ft. space, which director Lori Renton said would be more affordable and would allow the project to be completed sooner.


"We just wanted to make the building more cost-effective so that we could get to a point where we can build," she said.


"Raising funds for a 5,000-sq. ft. building is not as practical or obtainable as raising money for a 3,800-sq. ft. building."


The new building would increase the total number of daycare spaces at the centre to 47, including eight new infant care spaces.


"We are increasing our preschool spaces from 16 to 24," daycare director Lori Renton explained. "Also by utilizing the school we will also have additional school aged spaces that would be made available."


Renton said the project will cost an estimated $760,000 and the centre is still about $165,000 short of its fundraising goal.


A public meeting has been scheduled for Thurs., May 3 to provide community members with a status report on the project, she added.


"We want to make the public aware what still needs to be done," Renton said. "But we are still moving forward and are hoping to have a new building by next year."


Board member Betty Ann Tiltman said it is important that the community is involved in the planning aspect of the new facility.


"There has been a growing need for a daycare facility in St. Francois Xavier over the last four years and especially a need for a daycare that provides infant care," Tiltman said.


"Having access to quality daycare is a priority for many parents and it is our hope that a new daycare will meet the needs of the family choosing to raise their families in this community."


The meeting will be held at St. Francois Xavier Community School Thurs., May 3 at 7 p.m.

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