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Spring Creek day care set to open in fall

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Whistler’s child care needs could change after election

The Dandelion Daycare Society hopes to be in a position to break ground on the new Spring Creek day care facility in May for an October or November opening.

"We have hired a project manager and we are just waiting for the land titles to be exchanged," said children’s centre director Marian Hardy. "Everybody involved knows that time is of the essence and that we need to get this centre up and running as early as possible," she said.

"We are aiming for a fall opening and the personnel administrator and myself are starting a recruitment drive for the new staff."

The Spring Creek day care will house about 65 children. "Because of the high need for infant and toddler care, that will be our main focus," noted Hardy. "We want to open with 24 spaces for children between zero and three years of age."

There will be 41 spaces for kids aged three to five.

The day care society hasn’t yet decided on who will be attending the Spring Creek centre. It will be a feeder for the new elementary school in the subdivision so ideally the day care will draw from the same school boundaries once they are decided by the Howe Sound School Board.

"It would be silly for us to start a boundary and find out it is quite different from the school one," Hardy said.

Some parents desperate for day care, however, may be happy to drive from Emerald to Spring Creek but Hardy said traffic, in keeping with the TAG strategy, must also be kept to minimum coming in and out of Spring Creek when the centre opens.

"We do want to be careful with the amount of traffic, but the first priority is the needs of the parents and children. It may just be that people get offered a space in whichever building we have one," noted Hardy.

"Obviously some parents are making requests for Spring Creek and once we know we will be on schedule for opening, we will be contacting them. We will still proceed with our waitlist the way it is. If you are near the top, you will get dealt with first."

Hardy hopes the new centre will make a significant dent in Whistler’s day care waitlist but she said projections are difficult as needs are constantly changing. The picture could also change under a Liberal government.

"There are a lot of issues to look at right now," she said. "The NDP government has legislated the Child Care B.C. program and if there is a change in government, we don't know what is going to happen to those child care dollars."

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