Construction crews continue to prepare the foundation for the new daycare being built in Kleefeld.
It was nearly a year ago when the upper levels of government announced a 74-space daycare for Kleefeld in phase two of a provincial/ federal initiative. Then, in summer it was announced that Kleefeld would be getting an additional 30 spots.
Here we are, nearing mid-February and the Board Chair for Happy Hive Childcare Centre says there is a lot of work currently happening at the construction site. The daycare is being built along Park Avenue in Kleefeld.
"The foundation work is happening right now," says Becky Guderian. "Part of the roof trusses are sitting there and waiting."
Guderian explains that these daycares are being built off-site and then shipped in pieces as they become available. She notes the roof and walls arrive separately and then once it is time, everything is assembled on-site.
"It takes about a day or two for that part to happen," says Guderian. "After that, all the work will happen on-site, like electrical will come in, flooring, walls, all that kind of thing."
Guderian says as of today, they still do not have a definitive date for when they hope to open the daycare. She says it will certainly not happen before the latter part of 2024.
As mentioned, Happy Hive Childcare Centre will have 104 spaces. Guderian says at last check they have a wait list of about 250 kids.
"That's a lot of need," she says. "I think everybody knows that there's a lot of need for childcare in the area and really across Canada."
Guderian explains that as they get closer to opening day, they will begin going through their wait list and contacting parents.
According to Guderian, it will take approximately 20 staff to run the daycare. However, she says they will not need all 20 employees on opening day as their centre will open in phases.
"Having 104 kids show up on day one would be pretty chaotic," says Guderian. "So, we'll probably start with about two or three classrooms and then every few months we'll open another two classrooms or so."
She notes they are initiating the hiring process by trying to find an Executive Director. Guderian says they will look to hire the remaining staff in the coming weeks and months.
Meanwhile, Happy Hive Childcare Centre is planning an open house. It will take place on Tuesday, March 5th from 7 to 9 pm at the Kleefeld Recreation Centre. Guderian says with construction happening next door, those interested can take a look at the site before heading to the open house. She notes there will be a presentation at 7:30 pm. According to Guderian, there will be a builder and architect at the open house to give an overview of the project. In addition, board members will be there to answer any questions.
"We just wanted to involve the community in the construction process," says Guderian, explaining the reason for the open house. "There's always questions when something new is happening."
She notes they want to give opportunity for people to ask questions and learn more about the centre.