Friday, 29 September 2017 04:35

Bee Hive becomes heart and soul as a non-profit for Picture Butte

Written by  Demi Knight
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With many child care organizations switching over to non-profit throughout the province to gain better support from the government, administrators at the Bee Hive childcare centre in Picture Butte have too decided to make the switch.

As of September 2017, the Bee Hive childcare centre has officially been put in the hands of the community, with a local board of directors to run as a non-profit organization.
Former owner and now consultant, Manna Middleton says that this change was needed as in a small community such as Picture Butte sustaining a business such as child care without the right support can be very difficult.
“I felt the change was important because in rural communities it’s hard to keep these kinds of businesses going because the population isn’t there to sustain it, but now I’m able to apply for grants to better compensate staff and provide better care.”
The Bee Hive childcare centre has been a staple organization to the rural community of Picture Butte for many years since it’s founding in 2002. Although it didn’t always bare the same name, the organization has constantly run with the same goal in mind, to provide excellent and loving care to children throughout the area.
The organization itself started out in 2002 as Manna’s daycare, then in 2008 moved to a new building and became what it is now known as the Bee Hive. During it’s transitional year the day care became officially accredited.
However, since the business has moved across to become a non-profit organization, it is now run instead by a board of directors which was formed earlier this year in preparation for the transition. This board consists of valued members of the community including three educators, three parents and three community stakeholders. Although the decision to make the transition may have been time consuming, Middleton says it was definitely the right move.
“Although it was a long process with licensing, and all the paperwork, funny enough, it hasn’t been much of a change. We ran it almost like a non-profit already, we already did our best to give involvement opportunities to the community and our new executive director has been working for the day care for nine years, so the transition has been very smooth.”
With the federal government making moves to support the province in creating more affordable and accessible child care, non-profit organizations are being offered more financial support to offer these programs to their local communities.
This funding which the Bee Hive child care centre hope to apply for now that they are a certified non-profit organization is offered bilaterally through the federal and provincial government gives non-profit child care centres across the province more opportunities to offer flexible child care options, accessible locations and more support for children.
The three years of funding to start up these organizations works to better the child care system within the province and cater more to the demands and needs of both the children and their parents, and Middleton says it’s something that will be of great value to the Bee Hive child care centre.
“It was important to me to be non-profit because I feel that the community could have more investment, it enables them to have a bigger voice because we’re now run by a board of directors.”
However, it’s not just Picture Butte who believe this is the best move in creating better child care systems throughout the province but Alberta Premier Rachel Notley as well, who had great things to say about the new investments being offered to communities across Alberta.
“Our government is keeping its promise to make child care more accessible for Alberta families. Investing in quality child care will make life more affordable for parents and prepare our children for success.”
Although there will be some changes in the making for the Bee Hive and other child care centre’s that wish to make the transition, overall Middleton says this move is a positive and progressive one and will ultimately give parents and community members alike more say on the day to day activities and workings of the day care, making it a more cohesive part of the community.

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