On July 4, the University of Winnipeg Student Association celebrated the start of construction on an expansion to its daycare facility.
Currently offering 96 spaces, the expansion will allow 32 more children to attend the daycare, with 20 spaces for infants and 12 for preschool-aged kids. Half of those spaces are reserved for University of Winnipeg students, 25 per cent for staff and faculty, and 25 per cent for community members.
The $1.165-million dollar project is being funded through the UWSA, U of W and the Province of Manitoba, with construction expected to be completed in November.
UWSA president Laura Garinger said the expansion is part of their efforts to support students.
"The UWSA day care would not exist without the leadership of students making child care a priority on campus," Garinger said. "This is just one more step in our shared journey towards barrier-free post-secondary education so students, and in this case their children, are able to learn, grow and thrive."
Garinger and her team are picking up the torch from past UWSA presidents Peyton Veitch and Kevin Settee, both of whom pushed the expansion forward as a priority.
"I’d like to… acknowledge the work of those who came before me, first, (Veitch), whose driving persistence put this project in motion. During his presidency two years ago, he identified the need for more spaces and went forward to solve it," Garinger said.
She added that Settee continued work on the project during his term for the 2016-17 year.
"We really hope to be part of this campus community that’s not just happening in classrooms but also just can contribute to a place where people feel at home," she said.
Provincial government representatives said the project is a response to the growing need for child care spaces in the city.
"Our government’s goal is to create a modern, efficient early learning and child care system and we’re pleased to partner with projects like this that will make safe, quality child care more accessible," Minister of Families Scott Fielding said in a release.
"Earlier this year, we announced more than $6 million to fund 15 community-based capital projects and create up to 739 licensed spaces. This expanded on-campus daycare is one of those projects and we know it will be a huge asset on campus and for the entire community."
For more information, visit theuwsa.ca/daycare