YMCA to operate new daycare at Ma Murray school

The YMCA of Northern B.C. has been chosen to operate the new daycare at Margaret ‘Ma’ Murray Community School.

The 37-space daycare is scheduled to open this summer after construction of the school is complete.

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“School District 60 is pleased to partner with the YMCA of Northern BC to bring much needed daycare facilities to Fort St. John,” board chair Erin Evans said in a statement.

“The YMCA has an exemplary record for providing outstanding childcare experience for over 40 years in Northern B.C., and we look forward to our partnership in providing services to children and families.”

This will be the YMCA of Northern B.C.’s first presence in Fort St. John, according to a news release distributed at Monday night's meeting of school board trustees. In 2016, the organization cared for more than 550 children in 10 daycares across the north, according to the release.

“We are excited to be working with School District 60 to foster positive early learning outcomes for children in Fort St. John,” said Amanda Alexander, CEO for the YMCA of Northern B.C.

Of the 37 spaces, 12 will be for infants and toddlers, with the remaining 25 seats for children aged three to five.

Registration information is expected to be released in May. The school district anticipates the daycare will open to full capacity. 

At Monday's board meeting, trustees were told discussions are ongoing about how access to the spaces will be split between the community and BC Hydro. The Crown utility has priority access to half the daycare’s seats for Site C workers as part of its $1.8-million funding commitment to the daycare under agreement with the city. 

BC Hydro's funding is paying for the bricks and mortar structure of daycare, while $500,000 from the ministry of education will help equip and outfit the daycare, including fencing and a playground.

editor@ahnfsj.ca

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