Over the coming year, Ontario will begin construction on 49 new licensed child care spaces in Sault Ste. Marie to increase access to safe, high quality child care, announced David Orazietti, MPP.
“Our government continues to increase support for the education sector, and today’s announcement to improve access to early childhood education builds on our progress to date,” said Orazietti. “This is an important investment for Sault Ste. Marie families and for our province’s youngest learners.”
In Sault Ste. Marie, the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board will receive $1,838,737 from the province to build three new child care rooms, adding 49 licensed spaces for pre-schoolers at the new elementary school located at the former St. Basil Secondary School site.
A provincial investment of $3.9 million was announced earlier this year for a significant renovation to convert St. Basil Secondary School into an elementary school that will bring together all students currently enrolled in St. Pius X Catholic School, St. Ann Catholic School, St. Bernadette Catholic School and St. Theresa Catholic School.
Ontario is investing $120 million over the next three years to create approximately 4,000 new licensed child care spaces across the province. To date, more than $80 million has been invested to build a total of 164 new child care rooms housing 2,901 new spaces in schools.
Creating more licensed child care spaces in local schools will give children the opportunity to transition from child care into full-day kindergarten at the same location, making for an easier adjustment. The new spaces are also being built in areas where there is significant demand, giving families in Sault Ste. Marie more options when it comes to quality licensed child care that is close to home.
“We are extremely grateful and pleased with this funding announcement by the Ministry of Education and Minister Orazietti,” said Director of Education John Stadnyk. “The funding for the licensed spaces will nicely complement the planned renovations to the site which will be the future home of St. Basil Catholic Elementary School. This new K- 8 school, along with the childcare spaces, will serve our community well, and into the future.”
In addition to the province’s investment, the past year has seen a more than 10 per cent increase in the number of licensed child care spaces in Ontario.
Continuing to improve education — from early years through to postsecondary education — is part of the government’s four-part plan to build Ontario up. The plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan.