/County to buy Minden daycare

County to buy Minden daycare

County of Haliburton will purchase the daycare centre in Minden, the
centre continuing to operate under the auspices of Compass Early
Learning and Care and undergoing a major expansion.
County council
convened for a special meeting on Aug. 14, authorizing the municipality
to proceed with the purchase of the property and the premises from the
Ontario Early Years Centre for the nominal sum of $2.
The facility, located on Prentice Street, will continue to be operated by Compass, which assumed management in June of 2018.
the daycare had been run by the OEYC. On June, 15, 2018, parents whose
children attended the facility received a letter from the OEYC,
notifying them the daycare service would be terminated after June 22, as
its continued operation had become financially unsustainable for the
Distraught parents, upset they’d been given virtually
no notice or adequate time to find alternative care for their children,
voiced their concerns to OEYC management during a heated public meeting
at the Minden Hills Community Centre on June 20, and effective June 25,
2018, Compass stepped in to take over operation.
While the property,
initially donated by the Dollo family, has still been owned by the OEYC,
it will now become property of the County of Haliburton.
County Warden Liz Danielsen is calling the situation a win/win for all the involved parties.
land was originally turned over to Early ON for a nominal sum and,
while the deal isn’t finalized yet, we have finally agreed on terms
wherein the land will transfer to the county for the same nominal sum
($2) rather than having a large acquisition cost,” Danielsen wrote in an
email to the Times. “The daycare will continue to operate under the
same general terms and conditions and this will allow for the property
to undergo some much needed improvements. This seemed the most
appropriate direction for the County to take to ensure that we don’t
find ourselves in a boondoggle like we encountered a number of months
ago with the daycare threatening to close, parents outraged and everyone
wondering how they would arrange for childcare with little or no
notice. This end result will be win/win for all parties concerned.”
Wednesday’s special meeting, county chief administrative officer Mike
Rutter explained that there have been recent negotiations regarding the
“We’ve obviously been in negotiation, it’s been in closed
sessions, for a couple of meetings,” Rutter said. “ . . . A year ago, a
little more than a year ago, we had some real uncertainty around the
provision of childcare out of that facility, and it was a facility that
was donated by the Dollo family a number of years ago to the county, and
this is an opportunity to make sure that stays the case.”
other thing I would say, is there is a significant renovation proposed
for this property, about three quarters of a million dollars, fully
funded by the Ministry of Education, and that will result in a lot more
childcare spaces in the County of Haliburton.”
Minden Hills Mayor Brent Devolin was elated with the outcome.
is a happy story, more than a year’s worth of work,” Devolin said. “I
want to thank the rest of county council. The thoughts initially were to
have this property in ownership with Minden Hills, but the fact that
the county has a direct relationship with the City of Kawartha Lakes in
dealing with these matters, it’s a lot more natural a relationship, I
think. It’s still . . . in the spirit that it remains in control of the
local community.”

The OEYC is also pleased with the result.

“This is good news for the community and
also the OEYC board of directors. The gifting of this property to the County of
Haliburton is the resolution we have been working towards for some time,” reads
a statement from the organization. “We feel this aligns with the original
intent for the property while also enabling the County of Haliburton to be
involved in the future of licensed childcare in the community. We appreciate
the time invested in this by the Mayor of Minden Hills, Brent Devolin, and also
the CAO of Haliburton County, Mike Rutter.”


A spokesperson with Compass told the Times that
while the organization had no statement at the moment, it’s looking
forward to sharing its exciting plans for the property.