A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held to acknowledge the completion of the expansion to the municipal Childcare Centre at 3 Francis Street in Carleton Place. Mayor Black brought greetings on behalf of the Town and acknowledged those who played a role in seeing the expansion come to fruition:
Hello, my name is Doug Black. I am the Mayor for the Town of Carleton Place. It is my pleasure to welcome everyone who had a hand in creating, supporting, developing, and building this beautiful new addition to our municipal childcare centre.
I am sure there are many municipalities wishing and hoping for Provincial funding and I know there is stiff competition for these rare resources in the Province of Ontario
So why did the Provincial Government choose Carleton Place to invest $2.9 precious tax dollars via the Ministry of Education through what is called the Community-based Early Years and Child Care Capital Program (CBCP)? This program aim is to ensure that all children and families have access to a range of high-quality, inclusive, and affordable early years and childcare programs and services that are child and family centered and contribute to a child’s learning, development, and well-being.
Well, I would say having 379 children on our waiting list is a contributing factor to us qualifying for the expansion funding. Area parents want these services in Carleton Place because of our long-standing reputation as a centre of excellence.
Our childcare centre has always had a large waiting list not only because of the beautiful facility, but because of the dedication, professionalism and commitment to quality programs created by our staff. These programs help to support curriculum in early childhood settings. Our registered Early Childhood Educators are life-long learners. Our RECEs are resourceful. They integrate knowledge from theory, research, and their own experiences while understanding the individual children and families they work with.
Let me digress back to 1980 when I was a Councillor to publicly support Day Care in Carleton Place. I share this to illustrate that all previous councils have consistently recognized the importance of day care culminating in celebrating our opening here today.
I would like to thank Mary Lou White, former Children’s Services Manager with Lanark County as well as the current Manager Tammy Donaldson for their guidance and support during the application process.
When our application to this program was approved there was no doubt it was in large part due to the efforts of our Manager of Childcare Services Tracey Freill. Tracey was instrumental in determining what the needs were from the perspective of the children and advocating for items that would enhance their daily experience.
Our CAO Diane Smithson played a critical role in ensuring the tendering process and the overall off-site management of the project went smoothly. Thank you Diane.
Argue Construction has gone above and beyond to help create both a functional and beautiful space. Their experience and professionalism kept the project moving forward even during the difficulties imposed upon them in the Spring due to COVID-19.
Thank you to Susan Smith and Hannah Sample Architects for their input into the creative design and their flexibility with accommodating requested changes.
Thank you to Lashley and Associate for the creative design of the playground space which will be enjoyed by our children for years to come.
With this ribbon cutting ceremony we celebrate the completion of our expansion that will offer 98 new physical spaces for children from ages 0 to 4 and new employment opportunities within the community. The need for affordable, quality, childcare spaces has never been more apparent then it has in the last couple of years with our centre typically running at 98% capacity pre COVID. With the addition of these spaces we will be aligning with the shared commitment of both the provincial and federal government to increase quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity when it comes to community-based childcare.
Thank you to everyone for the role you played in making this dream a reality.