The Mayor for Ritchot is calling it a huge win for children and parents in his municipality.

Chris Ewen is referring to the announcement made Monday morning by the provincial and federal governments. The two governments are allocating up to $70 million in capital funding for new child-care facilities, creating more than 1,200 new, regulated non-profit child-care spaces across the province. Through this announcement, nine rural and First Nations communities will be getting new daycares, including the RM of Ritchot. 

"A huge, huge win for families, parents, even kids that are looking for daycare spots," says Ewen. "So, we are very, very thankful to the province and the federal government for offering this opportunity to our municipality especially."

According to Ewen, the new daycare will go up in Ile des Chenes. The exact location has yet to be finalized, but Ewen says they are looking at a site near the Trans Canada Energy Centre. He says they are just awaiting some engineering specs, but if all goes according to plan, that will be the home. If not, he says they have a Plan B just in case. 

Ewen says this daycare will be large enough to accommodate between 60 and 80 children. He notes it will be on a first come first served basis, but he says it will not meet the total need that currently exists in his municipality.

"I think there is probably already a waiting list to be quite honest," notes Ewen. "I know that each community in Ritchot from Ile des Chenes, St. Adolphe, Ste. Agathe, Grande Pointe, Gleanlea and Howden, they are always asking are there more spots coming and when will they be available. So, I won't be surprised if we will have a full house immediately."

The daycare facilities have been designed by John Q Public. The hybrid-construction pilot project will use a modular building, prefabricated construction process and an innovative building design that can be replicated, readily transported and built in communities across Manitoba.

"A lot of it will be built off-site and then it will be brought in and placed onto the location that's deemed appropriate or that's owned by the municipality," explains Ewen. 'And then it essentially is going to be one of our assets for the next few decades."

In exchange, local partners will provide a minimum of two acres of serviced land with 15 years of free rent and support services including snow removal, landscape maintenance and repairs. These support services reduce costs for child-care operators, ensuring long-term sustainability of centres.

The buildings are expected to be moved to community sites this winter and be fully operational by summer of 2023.

"We're very, very thankful to have the province and federal government choose us to be one of the first lottery winners," notes Ewen. "That's really what it is, a lottery."