The Municipality of Sioux Lookout is pleased to announce planned upgrades and retrofits to one of its Child Care Centres. The changes will take place at the Biidaaban, Child Care Centre near Sacred Heart School. Daycare manager, Kelly Negus talks about the renovations.

"We've received some money from the Ministry of Education to retrofit a couple of the classrooms at our day care site at Sacred Heart School. We currently have preschoolers there so the rooms will be renovated to have both preschoolers and toddlers," she said.

The classrooms will be re purposed to accommodate 16 preschool-aged children and 20 toddlers. One of the classrooms that currently houses after school school-aged children and programs, will be relocated to one of the licensed classrooms within Sacred Heart School.

Recent funding from the Ministry of Education means they have a small window to complete the renovations. Municipal CAO Ann Mitchell explains why this window of opportunity is now available.

"They are the funding agent that funds schools. So they are always wanting daycares to be housed in schools, that is one of their mandates. So they are trying to change the place to make more room for the different groups because our needs have changed since the full-day kindergarten came in," she said.

Negus talks about the need for the space.

"There is a need for child-care in the community. We run 142 licensed spaces and all of those are being used. This isn't an expansion at this point but it's thinking about the future and having most of our spaces in the school areas," she said.

Negus says the next steps will include meeting with Kenora District Services Board and the School Board to finalize plans and work with the architect, along with the Program Adviser at the Ministry of Education to ensure proposed retrofits will be in compliance with Day Nursery legislation.

The renovations will not impact services and will be complete by this fall.

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