Con­tin­u­ing to im­prove

Pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment pro­vides funding for Labrador West Child Care cen­tre

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Front Page - BY MIKE POWER

Dozens of young peo­ple waited ea­gerly at the Labrador West Child Care cen­tre on Oct. 12 for a spe­cial visit.

The young peo­ple, along with staff, vol­un­teers, and mem­bers of the board of di­rec­tors of Labrador West Child Care in­cor­po­rated were as­sem­bled to hear some good news from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

Ed­u­ca­tion and Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Al Hawkins and Labrador West MHA Graham Letto were there to make a funding an­nounce­ment of ap­prox­i­mately $196,000 for the cen­tre.

The cen­tre has re­ceived a lot of sup­port from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment as they moved to a new fa­cil­ity last De­cem­ber.

Hawkins and Letto got a big round of ap­plause when those in at­ten­dance heard some of the money would be used for out­door play equip­ment and buy­ing ex­tra sup­plies for the class­rooms and crafts.

The spe­cial guests told every­one they want the young peo­ple in Labrador West to have the best sup­port pos­si­ble and learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment from the time they en­ter a place like the Labrador West Child Care cen­tre un­til they leave school.

Dur­ing the brief cer­e­mony, Hawkins and Letto fielded ques­tions from the day­care chil­dren, of­ten with great in­sight such as ask­ing if they could have a say in what went in the out­door play space, and ques­tions about the work they do.

Letto and Hawkins were The chil­dren lis­ten to Ed­u­ca­tion and Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Al Hawkins and Labrador West MHA Graham Letto speak about funding for the Labrador West Child Care cen­tre and what it will mean for them.

also wear­ing the red and white Ron­ald Mc­Don­ald socks (it was Ron­ald Mc­Don­ald Day), but they only had one pair be­tween them caus­ing a few com­ments and gig­gles from the au­di­ence.

Sup­port

On a more se­ri­ous side, re­marks from Danielle Gignac, chair of the Labrador West Child Inc. pointed out their thanks to the gov­ern­ment, but also to the board, vol­un­teers, lo­cal busi­nesses and es­pe­cially the Iron Ore Com­pany of Canada (IOC) who played a ma­jor role in help­ing make the new space a re­al­ity.

“We are pleased with this fa­cil­ity and what it pro­vides to the young peo­ple who use it,” she said, “and we ap­pre­ci­ate the hard work and sup­port from ev­ery­body who was a part of mak­ing this hap­pen.

Letto made spe­cial men­tion of Bernie Mullen, cen­tre ad­min­is­tra­tor. He noted her de­ter­mi­na­tion to have the new cen­tre be the best pos­si­ble, and to work count­less hours with gov­ern­ment, gov­ern­ment agen­cies, the board of di­rec­tors, vol­un­teers and many oth­ers.

Mullen thanked the many peo­ple who were in­volved in the mon­u­men­tal task of hav­ing the cen­tre moved from the base­ment of a lo­cal church to the fa­cil­ity it is lo­cated in now.

Fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony Mullen told The Aurora, “I knew we had to get the chil­dren out of a win­dow­less base­ment to a bright airy place, with a stim­u­lat­ing en­vi­ron­ment.”

It was a project that ex­tended in the range of eight months.

“It was non-stop meet­ings with so many peo­ple,” she said. “I can’t thank the board and their chair, and there were many very late night meet­ings. The meet­ings were also with com­mu­nity part­ners, gov­ern­ments, IOC.

“There were hun­dreds of hours of meet­ings, some on hol­i­days even, but fi­nally the new cen­tre opened Dec. 19 last year.”

Look­ing at the cen­tre now, the move and the funding they have re­ceived means they were able to cre­ate 36 ad­di­tional child care spa­ces. They now have 93 chil­dren at the cen­tre.

The cen­tre op­er­ates Mon­day to Fri­day 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., ac­com­mo­dat­ing young peo­ple from three to 13-years-old.

The cen­tre cur­rently has 12 staff mem­bers.

MIKE POWER — SPE­CIAL TO THE AURORA

MIKE POWER — SPE­CIAL TO THE AURORA

Some of the peo­ple in at­ten­dance for the an­nounce­ment of funding for the Labrador West Child Care cen­tre in­clude, front, Ed­u­ca­tion and Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Al Hawkins; back, from left, Stef Gal­lant and Amy Du­maresque, board mem­bers of Labrador West Child Care Inc., Danielle Gignac, board chair, Labrador West MHA Graham Letto and Bernie Mullen, ad­min­is­tra­tor of Labrador West Child Care Cen­tre.

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