The construction kitty for the new day-care facility at Spring Creek has been boosted to a total of $800,000 with news of a $250,000 grant from the Ministry of Social Development and Economic Security.
The society applied for the facilities and equipment grant to match the $250,000 recently received from the Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation.
"We are now at $800,000 in total towards our $1 million budget for construction," said society director Marian Hardy. "We are moving along." Hardy said architect Brent Murdoch was due to take the day-care plans to design panel on Dec. 6.
In his letter to Dandelion Daycare announcing the funding, Minister Mike Farnworth said he commended the societys successful fund-raising efforts. He said they served to demonstrate the level of community support for the project.
"The minister is committed to working with individuals and local community organizations to provide safe, affordable, quality child care," noted Farnworth. "The child care facilities and equipment grant allows us to work as partners towards this goal we hold in common."
He pointed out research into early childhood development shows children who receive quality care early in life are more likely to succeed in school and as adults. "We are also aware that the ability to access quality, affordable care makes a major difference in the lives of working families."
The $1 million budget will cover the first phase of the new centre that will house about 49 children come September or October of next year.
Through negotiations with the municipality, Intrawest donated the day-care site plus $300,000 worth of design and construction costs. The $250,000 Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation grant was received this summer. The day-care society had to raise 75 per cent of the construction costs before they could apply for the provincial grant.
The centre will be built so that it can be expanded at a later date, unlike the Whistler Childrens Centre off Lorimer Road. The initial 5,000 square foot building will offer around 24 spaces for children under three and 25 spaces for those over three years of age. Those numbers, however, can be adjusted depending on the needs of the community. For example, the day care could accommodate a total of 62 kids but that would mean space for only 12 infants, under terms of the provincial licensing policy.
Hardy said community support will still be needed once construction gets under way. "We will be looking for volunteer help and in-kind donations, which we had a lot of the building trades do last time around."