Prov­ince gives more fund­ing to Pump­kin House

The Labradorian - - Front Page - BY EVAN CA­REEN

Ed­u­ca­tion and Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Al Hawkins was in Happy Val­leyGoose Bay on Nov. 16 to an­nounce fund­ing for 30 more child­care spa­ces for the af­ter­school pro­gram at Pump­kin House in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay.

“I think it’s im­por­tant for us to in­vest in our chil­dren,” Hawkins said. “It’s im­por­tant in build­ing a bet­ter fu­ture for all New­found­lan­ders and Labrado­ri­ans.”

In to­tal the provin­cial gov­ern­ment has in­vested $905,062 to the Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (ECDA), which is spear­head­ing the project. With these new spots it brings the pro­gram ca­pac­ity up to 123 spa­ces.

“We’re ex­cited we’re here in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay to­day to make sure this pro­gram and ini­tia­tive we have put in place con­tin­ues,” Hawkins said. “As a gov­ern­ment we’re very pleased to pro­vide this sub­stan­tial in­vest­ment, al­most a mil­lion dol­lars, which im­pacts not only the ECDA and the child care cen­tre, but all of Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay.”

Lake Melville MHA Perry Trimper was also there for the an­nounce­ment and said he’s very happy to hear about the ad­di­tional fund­ing. Trimper said he knows the com­mu­nity has lost peo­ple in the past due to lack of child care and hopes this can help change that.

“It’s a ba­sic re­quire­ment for any­one liv­ing in a com­mu­nity, whether you’re from away or from here, to have the ba­sic abil­ity to leave your chil­dren in a reg­u­lated safe en­vi­ron­ment for your chil­dren,” Trimper said.

He said he looks at it not just as 30 more spa­ces but 30 more fam­i­lies that can use the ser­vice.

Colin O’Brien, vice pres­i­dent of the ECDA, said they’re very happy with the an­nounce­ment and it now makes them, as a not for profit vol­un­teer pro­gram, one of the largest child­care cen­tres in the prov­ince.

“We take an ex­cep­tional amount of pride in that,” he said. “We talk about the need, the need is real. We won’t be able to ad­dress all of the wait list but we will be able to ad­dress the high­est need ar­eas.”

He said the after-school spots are in ad­di­tion to the 30 spots al­ready avail­able through the Pump Kids pro­gram at Pea­cock Pri­mary School, so it’s a great help. They still have just un­der 200 peo­ple still on the wait list and hope to be able to ad­dress that more go­ing for­ward.

The new Pump­kin House fa­cil­ity is ex­pected to be com­pleted this spring.

EVAN CA­REEN- THE LABRADORIAN

Ed­u­ca­tion and Early Child­hood De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Al Hawkins (right) with Kaylie Web­ber (left) and Etta O’Brien, two of the par­tic­i­pants in the Pump­kin House day­care.

EVAN CA­REEN- THE LABRADORIAN

Some of the chil­dren and staff at Pump­kin House got to chat with the MHA’s in at­ten­dance at the an­nounce­ment.

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