By Chad Ingram
As reported earlier this month the County of Haliburton will assumeownership of the licensed daycare centre in Minden and that is greatnews for local families both current and future.
As regular readers of this publication and most parents of young children will recalljust more than a year ago there was a major kerfuffle when OntarioEarly Years which had operated the centre announced that its continued operation was no longer financially feasible for the organization. Itintended to close the centre just a week after making the announcementand shocked frustrated parents suddenly grappling with who would lookafter their children voiced their displeasure at a heated public meeting at the community centre. Another daycare provider Compass EarlyLearning and Care quickly assumed operations and so childcarecontinued uninterrupted from the premises on Prentice Street.
Theproperty has continued to be owned by Ontario Early Years and during aspecial meeting in mid-August councillors voted to proceed with thecounty “purchase” of the facility for the whopping sum of $2. Allparties were pleased with the outcome.
While the centre will continue to be operated by Compass with the county – or in other words thecommunity – now the owner of the property it ensures that it willcontinue to be used for the purpose of child care in the spirit of what the Dollo family had in mind when they initially donated the property.
As County Warden Liz Danielsen put it “this seemed the most appropriatedirection for the County to take to ensure that we don’t find ourselvesin a boondoggle like we encountered a number of months ago with thedaycare threatening to close parents outraged and everyone wonderinghow they would arrange for childcare with little or no notice.”
Certainly as the father of a young daughter who attends a daycare I’mempirically aware that there is nothing so important as knowing ourchildren are safe and secure in the place we leave them during theworkday (a shout-out to the wonderful staff at Wee Care right here).The county’s acquisition of the Minden daycare should provide a peace of mind to parents that the property will continue to operate as alicensed daycare centre for many years to come.
Also exciting is that an education-ministry-funded expansion of the facility will add a number of daycare spaces.