Ontario announces funding to expand school-based day care

December 31, 2017

Fourteen schools in Ottawa will have additional rooms built to bring in additional daycare spots for children aged four and under.

Ottawa-Orléans MPP Marie-France Lalonde was at St. Dominic Catholic Elementary School on Dec. 20 to announce the approximate $10 million in funding for the 24 classrooms, which will all be expansions to existing daycare programs.  Students in grades 4 and 6 gathered to meet their area MPP and hear the announcement.

“What we heard clearly was when it comes to accessing licensed high-quality child care, families needed more options. So to support the growing needs of families across the province, we made a commitment,” said Lalonde.  She said the provincial government is focusing on school-based spaces, and she was pleased four schools in the Ottawa-Orléans riding were included in the selected sites — including St. Dominic.  “Schools are a natural fit for child care,” she said. “It gives young children the opportunity to transition … into a familiar environment.”

Gerry Proulx, the St. Dominic principal, said they hear from parents who struggle to find child-care spaces, so she knows it’ll be welcome news to area parents.

The projects at the 14 Ottawa schools will be a combination of additions, renovations, and two combinations of renovations and additions. In total, 24 rooms will be built to accommodate 449 more children in school-based daycares.

“People have very harried lives, and people are stressed to the nines. We’re at a time where both parents have to work in many households,” said Elaine McMahon, the Ottawa Catholic School Board chairperson and board member for College and Knoxdale-Merivale zones. “It’s a very special gift we got this Christmas.”

·      Roger-Saint Denis (Kanata) will gain 24 spaces

·      Jockvale Elementary School (Nepean) will gain 15 spaces

·      Knoxdale Public School (Nepean) will gain 39 spaces

·      Mary Honeywell Elementary School (Nepean) will gain 10 spaces

·      St. Benedict (Nepean) will gain 39 spaces

·      St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Nepean) will gain 39 spaces

·      Queen Mary Public School (Overbrook) will gain 24 spaces

·      Our Lady of Mount Carmel (east Gloucester) will gain 39 spaces

·      Chapel Hill Catholic (Orléans) will gain 39 spaces

·      St. Dominic (Orléans) will gain 39 spaces

·      Des Sentiers (Orléans) will gain 39 spaces

·      Arc-en-ciel (Orléans) will gain 15 spaces

·      Gabrielle-Roy (south Gloucester) will gain 49 spaces

·      Lamoureux (Heron Park) will gain 39 spaces

[This article was written by Brier Dodge and first appeared in Metroland Media Group’s Ottawa Community News on 28 December 2017.  ONS has always enjoyed our relationship with community news resources and we will miss Metroland’s contribution following its purchase and planned closure by Postmedia-Torstar.

For more information about accessing child care resources in Ottawa, go to https://www.neighbourhoodstudy.ca/child-care-sept-2016/.]