At Monday’s council meeting, after an in-camera session, Lord Mayor Betty Disero couldn’t hide her pleasure at being able to announce an addition to the community centre for a new child care facility.
A 4,308 square foot facility will be added to the east side of the community centre, adjacent to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library, with the main entrance located on Anderson Lane. The facility will include an infant playroom with a kitchenette and a separate sleeping area, a toddler playroom, a preschool playroom with adjacent washrooms and changerooms, and a school-aged room, in addition to office and storage spaces.
The wait list for Niagara Nursery School has more than 80 names on it, Disero said, and the school can only accommodate pre-school and school-aged children.
Once in the new space, the NNS will accommodate 10 infants, 15 toddlers, 24 pre-schoolers, and 20 school-aged children.
Funding for this project is provided by the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Niagara Region, and by the Ministry of Education through the Community-Based Early Years and Child Care Capital Program grant. The NNS will be raising additional funds through a capital fundraising campaign. The total cost of the construction will be about $1.5 million, and it is anticipated the building will be ready by December, 2020.
Once the NNS moves to the new space, the current room will be used by the community centre for room rentals.
“Niagara Region is grateful to partner with Niagara Nursery School to invest in the growth of child care spaces for residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake,” said Darlene Edgar, Niagara Region’s Director of Children’s Services. “This addition will improve access to high-quality, licensed child care and is an essential step towards supporting all of Niagara’s families.”
The NNS board of directors issued a statement saying, “this is an exciting time, not only for the Niagara Nursery School but for the families in our community, as we will be able to provide care for both infants and toddlers, in addition to the preschool and school-age children we currently serve.”
The board thanked the Province for providing the grant, allowing for the expansion of space and services to meet the needs of the NOTL community.
“Members of Council are very pleased to be a part of this agreement with Niagara Nursery School,” said Disero.
“This is a great opportunity for families in Niagara-on-the-Lake to have access to child care at a younger age than is currently available. We also hope this will be an incentive for new families to move to Town.”