Nfld. & Labrador

St. John's daycare centre offers low rates thanks to provincial grant

A new daycare in the west end of St. John's is striving to be an enrichment centre for children, regardless of their family's income or status.

Rates as low as $14 a day for after school care, $44 for infants and spaces still available

This colourful mural by artist Janice Udell adorns a wall at the not-for-profit New Dimensions Child Care in St. John's. (Anna Delaney/CBC)

A new daycare in the west end of St. John's is striving to be an enrichment centre for children, regardless of their family's income or status.

New Dimensions Child Care on Canada Drive is a not-for-profit daycare and after school program that receives an operational grant from the provincial government, allowing it to keep costs low.

'We're not here to make any money. We're here to focus on the children."- Coralee Burton

New Dimensions operator Coralee Burton says parents still have to pay for the service, but the centre provides subsidized rates that are much lower than other daycare centres.

"We're not here to make any money. We're here to focus on the children, to focus on feeding them well, to focus on providing them with quality child care at a low rate to the parents," she said.

Some spaces still available

Burton said rates are as low as $14 a day for after school care and $44 for infants, and some spaces are still available at New Dimensions.

Daycare operator Coralee Burton says the goal of New Dimensions is to focus on the children, not the dollars and cents. (Anna Delaney/CBC)

"Right now we have 36 registered. Our toddler room has some spaces open, as well as our preschool," she said.

"Our after school area actually has the most spaces, we have only nine children right now and we can take 24."

Families unable to afford the subsidized rates can also apply to the provincial government, which will also cover costs for those who qualify.

She said it's important that the service is available to those who need it.

"Anyone is free to be here. It doesn't matter your income, it doesn't matter your status in the community — we're open, we have an open-door policy for anybody," Burton said.

Fundraising for low cost

New Dimensions has a board of directors that works to raise funds to help keep costs low for parents and provide the best service for children.

Board of directors chair Janice Adams says it's important to nurture young minds. (Anna Delaney/CBC)

Board chair Janice Adams said the centre is not about dollars and cents.

"The bottom line is very tight for a not-for-profit, but we're not in it for that, we're in it to impact children and families," she said.

We just want the children to be all that they can be.- Janice Adams

Adams said a nurturing environment and arts programming are also important for young minds.

"We all feel that that really does enrich, and when a child's world is enriched, it also affects proper development of the brain."

"We just want the children to be all that they can be."

With files from Anna Delaney and On The Go