Thunder Bay

'Seamless transition': Ontario gives $3.6M to create daycare spaces at 5 northern schools

The Ministry of Education is giving the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board and the Kenora District Services Board, in northwestern Ontario, $3.6-million to create state of the art child care spaces at five schools.

Renovations at schools in Kenora, Keewatin, Dryden, Sioux Lookout to be complete by June 2020

The Ontario government is funding the creation of new daycare spaces at five schools in northwestern Ontario. (Mike Dotta/Shutterstock)

The Ministry of Education is giving the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board and the Kenora District Services Board, in northwestern Ontario, $3.6-million to create state of the art child care spaces at five schools.

"It's a wonderful thing for us, and for families," says Caryl Hron, the superintendent of education for the school board.

"It makes it nice, and easier for families to be in one location and to be in the school, and part of the school community."

Renovations include converting classrooms to daycare spaces, which means adding washrooms and cooking facilities, as well as making some changes to the playgrounds.

Caryl Hron, the superintendent of education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board says putting daycares in schools allows for a "seamless transition' for young students. (Keewatin-Patricia District School Board)

"We'll add some green space, so there might be some climbing hills, there might be some areas where they can play in sand, and we currently have our big outdoor play equipment so I think what we're looking at is having a more natural space for some of our smaller students who don't need that bigger equipment," said Hron.

Creating more daycare spaces is important, said Hron, because they offer children "that seamless transition between our early years centres in our schools, into daycares, into our kindergarten classrooms, into our primary and our K to eight programs and then into high school."

In total, $3,630,024 in funding will go towards renovations at:

  • Open Roads Public School in Dryden ($403,336)
  • New Prospect Public School in Dryden ($806,672)
  • Sioux Mountain Public School in Sioux Lookout ($1,210,008)
  • Evergreen Public School in Kenora ($403,336)
  • Keewatin Public School in Keewatin ($403,336)

The renovations will be completed in three phases, with phase one already underway in Dryden. Retrofits at schools in Sioux Lookout and Kenora are expected to be finished by June 2020.