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Wednesday, 18 May 2011 18:28

Trailview Alliance Church may open day care after being allocated 50 seats

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By Chris Jaster — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A brand new day-care centre may be coming to Swift Current.

The Government of Saskatchewan allocated up to 50 child-care seats to the Trailview Alliance Church May 16. Now the pressure lies on Glen Letnes and other committee members at the church to decided if enough renovations can be made to the church so it can follow through on its plan and offer a day-care service.

“There are a number of things the day care requires, and one of them is natural lighting,” said Letnes, the chairperson of the board of elders at the Trailview Alliance Church. “For every square foot of floor space you have, you need to have 10 per cent natural light. We're short some windows so we would need to put in some windows.”

Some renovations would also have to be made to the church’s washrooms and kitchen. A fenced-in playground area will need to be built as well.

The good news for the church is the playground area may be half the size of what would normally be required as Sundance Park, which is adjacent to the church’s parking lot, offers a lot more green space.

Letnes knew there would be a lot of work to open the centre when the church initially applied for day-care seats. Last year, the board of elders did a feasibility study in regard to the need for day-care spaces in Swift Current and found there was a need.

They then submitted an application to the provincial government for child-care seats. The government did not allocate any seats to the group, but kept its request on file. The Ministry of Education couldn’t help but notice Swift Current when it announced up to 513 child-care seats have been allocated to 13 different communities this week.

“In our analysis, we saw that currently Swift Current has 201 licensed child-care spaces and, looking at a number of factors, we determined there was an additional need in Swift Current,” said Cheryl Senecal, an assistant deputy minister of education.

“We are targeting working families and adult students who have children and are attending post-secondary educational opportunities. It's interesting there is increased immigration in Swift Current which is creating greater demand as well as surrounding families from some of the surrounding areas who work in Swift Current and who are expressing a need for child care.”

With a high demand for more day care spaces in Swift Current, Letnes believes it won’t take long to fill the 50 seats at Trailview’s proposed day-care centre.

He is asking for residents to be patient before they approach the church about registering their children.
Letnes said it will take approximately a month before the board of elders will decide whether to go through with the renovations and it will take even longer for the work to be completed.

“I just want to make the city know we're working toward it but it's not finalized yet,” he said. “We're hoping we can deliver, but we're not positive yet if we can adapt our building accordingly.

“Timing wise, we don't know when it would be open either. We still have our study to do and we would have lots of renovations to do. We don't have a firm date yet.”

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