College students in Iqaluit get daycare space for kids
A new daycare opened in Iqaluit on Thursday, primarily for preschoolers whose parents are studying at Nunavut Arctic College.
The new Kids on the Beach location is behind the college, on the same road as new student residences that were completed in September.
It is the second location for Kids on the Beach, which also has space at the bottom of one of the older student residences. The two daycares will now provide a total 44 spaces for infants and children up to five years of age.
Neil Myers, the college's director of student services, says he hopes the addition of more daycare spaces will encourage more students with children to pursue their post-secondary studies.
"A lot of our students also have families they need to worry about, and that can really complicate when you're trying to do your schoolwork," Myers told CBC News.
"I think having a child-care service for students is tremendous, and I think it removes a lot of the obstacles and stresses that may prevent them from actually going on to pursuing their education."
Priority space will be first granted to children of college students. But Myers said any additional spaces will be made available to the public.
"Priority is with Nunavut Arctic College, but in the summer months we'll have a lot of availability. And through the year, if there's any spots available and we've taken care of our students … everybody would be welcome to come on in," he said.
"It is a public daycare, first and foremost."
The new Kids on the Beach location will have five full-time child-care workers and one part-time staffer.
Daycare director Brenda Dainton said the new centre will emphasize Inuit culture, such as drumming, storytelling and artwork, in its daily activities.