Nfld. & Labrador

Daycares in Labrador's northern Inuit region find operators, hope to open soon

Two of Nunatsiavut’s five communities have been granted daycare licences while others in Nain, Hopedale and Postville are working towards meeting regulations and getting that accreditation.

Rigolet running, Makkovik will open, 3 others working to meet regulations

Jenny Lyall, Nunatsiavut regional child care coordinator, says the Inuit government is working on a training program for daycare staff. (Katie Breen/CBC)

​Two of Nunatsiavut's five communities have been granted daycare licences while the remaining three are working towards meeting regulations and getting that accreditation.

Rigolet's daycare is in operation and Makkovik now has the go ahead to open. 

​Registration is being held Wednesday evening and Makkovik's centre, with 13 spaces, could offer care as early as Friday.

Children will be back at the daycare in Makkovik after the N.L. government agreed to waive a certification requirement for the operator. (Submitted/Nunatsiavut Government)

The community's daycare didn't have a qualified operator. The candidate willing to run the facility didn't have Level 2 early childhood education — a requirement for operators as of late July

But according to Jenny Lyall, Nunatsiavut's regional childcare coordinator, the provincial government agreed to make an exception.

"You make a case, you say this individual we feel confident they will work towards Level 2 with our support," she told CBC's Labrador Morning.

"Generally that's done through a distance education process."

Nain, Hopedale

Now Lyall hopes the province will waive the same educational requirement for Nunatsiavut's two largest communities, Nain and Hopedale.

We have brought back staff in hopeful anticipation that this is going to happen- Jenny Lyall

The communities couldn't find operators last week — nobody wanted to run the programs.

Candidates without early childhood education Level 2 have since stepped forward to fill the positions.

"We have brought back staff in hopeful anticipation that this is going to happen," Lyall said.

"We are proceeding as if we will get approval, you know, getting the daycares ready and the menus ready and the supplies and the programming piece."

Children in Nain and two other northern communities are still waiting for an opening date for their daycares. (Submitted/Nunatsiavut Government)

When asked about a timeline around for the exemptions, a spokesperson with the province's department of Education and Early Childhood Development said cases dealing with childcare licensing approval are treated "with expediency."

Nunatsiavut Government is looking at ways to bring early childhood training to its communities, Lyall said.

There's discussion about which college to go through and and how programming will be delivered.

"We're actually hoping that this will happen sometime in 2018," she said.

Postville problem different

Postville has a qualified operator but its building is lacking a sprinkler system.

"Just as of [Tuesday] we have secured some funding to look at the sprinkler system," Lyall said.

"So this is going to include us having a complete assessment of the building and coordinating with the provincial department of Service NL."

Until the building is brought up to code, Postville will continue to run an unlicensed daycare.

Four children is the maximum an unlicensed facility can take so the nine kids registered in Postville will rotate in order for all families to receive some child care.

"We've been managing but we want to be able to licence that community, of course, to be able to bring in the full capacity," Lyall said.

With files from Bailey White