A zoning amendment has been approved for the Cariboo Friendship Society’s new daycare in Williams Lake.
Council unanimously supported the recommendation for the 24 space daycare at 254 First Avenue North after a public hearing Tuesday evening.
“For the size of the building, we were required to 19 parking spaces which is a little I don’t want to use the outrageous-onerous is a good word,” said Cariboo Friendship Society executive director Rosanna McGregor.
“So we were able to find alternatives just to make sure that children are getting dropped off not on the streets that are super busy. The back alley should be just a perfect spot for them to get into.”
Councilor Craig Smith suggested placing signs limiting parking to 15 minutes in front of the building should parking for the daycare become an issue.
“We’re super excited about the daycare,” McGregor added.
“We have an Aboriginal Head Start program and from that, we knew that we had a lot of parents that were interested in having their children in daycare.”
Coordinator for Little Moccasins Learning Centre, Sheena Rogers who was instrumental in helping to secure funding through Head Start said wages for the daycare’s early childhood educators will be higher than any other daycare or preschool in the province.
“When Head Start was negotiating the contract one of the things they wanted to have happen was to have fair wages for early childhood educators. So the starting wage will be twenty-five dollars an hour,” Rogers said.
“One of the things we also always have with Head Start is a higher ratio per children to teachers so that’s always successful and good for the families to know that there’s more adult supervision than less. Culture, of course, is also the biggest part so when we talk about building I’m super excited just thinking colors, flooring, bringing in Elders so that they can help us with the plans, and parents are the other part of that.”
McGregor said they hope to have renovations completed to the building by August with children in the daycare by February 2020 the latest.
“We have an existing building that we will be basically taking down to the studs and rebuilding,” McGregor said noting that Sprucelee Construction and The Designery are assisting with the project.