Play Fair Daycare updates on second building

Smile Cookie proceeds to go toward second building.

April 1, 2024, 10:28 am
Ryan Kiedrowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A project site plan was displayed during the Play Fair Daycare’s update to the Chamber last week.

The last time members of the Play Fair Daycare board were at the Moosomin Chamber of Commerce, they relayed the news they were approved for 90 new spaces, thanks to a provincial government announcement.

With that announcement, the need for a second building came, followed by a commitment from the South East Cornerstone Public School Division for land to build a new facility.

The school division initially offered a piece of land and the very south end of the MacLeod School playground.

With the plan for an 8,000 square foot building on one level, the daycare needed more land, and the school division has agreed to provide the additional land needed.

The daycare currently has 71 spots, and the 90 spots in the second building will bring it up to 161.

“Since the announcement, we’ve been working really close with the school division to find a location,” said Jalisa Miller, daycare board president. “We’ll be building at the very south end of the property.”

Miller and fellow board member Jill Jones provided a site plan on display, updating Chamber members on the project during last week’s meeting.

“It ended up being a lot larger than we initially thought, and they’ve been really easy to work with,” Miller said of the SECPSD.

Next steps include surveying the area —slated for this month—and starting the subdivision process.

“We have South Prairie Design working on the site plan and the design for the building itself, so that’s getting going now that we have the location secure,” Miller explained.

“We are hoping to start earthwork this year, let it sit for the winter and then begin construction of the building next spring. Then we’re hoping to be in the building by the end of 2026.”

She did note one kink in the process, noting that the town had offered $1,500 per spot as an incentive to renovate the current daycare building to add up to 12 additional spots, but that funding won’t automatically apply to the 90 new spots, so the daycare will have to approach the town about its support.

In May of last year, council passed a motion “That the town of Moosomin support the Moosomin Play Fair Daycare in their desire to increase child day care spaces at their current location at 918 Birtle Street, and agree that the Town of Moosomin will provide a grant of $1,500 per child care space.”

Miller said she sees that funding not automatically applying to the 90 new spaces to be a challenge.

“Talk about a challenge,” she told chamber members. “What it does mean is that community support is so much more important, and we’re going to be relying heavily on that to ensure this project moves forward.”

Councillor Murray Gray explained at the meeting that the town had not received a formal request for funding for the 90 spots, that it has yet to be addressed at the Council level, and reassured that the daycare would be on the agenda for the next meeting. At the council meeting Wednesday night council decided to invite the daycare board to a meeting to discuss the project and their concerns.

“One of the things that we need to talk about from this proposal will be services,” he said at the Chamber meeting Tuesday, noting the Chamber meeting was the first time he’s seen the proposed site plan.

“The reason we committed that $1,500 initially is that we are committed to the value of a daycare in the community,” Gray told town council Wednesday.

“We said in the government application for the new spots that we would support it, and one of the roles we could play is in helping get water and sewer services to the building.”

At the council meeting, council agreed to invite the day care board to a council meeting to discuss the project.

First fundraiser announced
Kicking off fundraising for the new building will come with a delicious way to help out—and one proven to succeed in Moosomin.

“We’re excited to announce that our first fundraiser will be in partnership with Tim Hortons. We’ll be participating in their Smile Cookie campaign that will begin in the coming week of April 29,” Jones said, adding that the project has secured the support of seven generous sponsors so far.

Jones listed the World-Spectator, Celebration Ford, Nutrien, Carmen Hamilton Realty, South Prairie Design, Moosomin Thrift Store and Food Share and Borderland Co-op, adding that the daycare board is actively seeking more sponsors.

“Our primary request for everybody in this group is to consider placing pre-orders or making donations towards our cause,” Jones told Chamber members of the Smile Cookie campaign.

“Every contribution—big or small—is going to make a positive impact on this project.”

Anyone interested in volunteering making Smile Cookies for the fundraiser can contact the daycare or Tim Horton’s to sign up.

A high bar was set last May when the Smile Cookie campaign in Moosomin raised $35,000 for the MacLeod Elementary School Playground Fund—the most ever raised in Moosomin and the most raised in Saskatchewan last year, and one of the highest fundriasing totals for any Tim Hortons location in Canada.

“Since the last record was $35,000, I think it’s safe to say, we’d like to beat that,” Miller said of the target. “Building a new building is not cheap, so every dollar is going to count.”

Play Fair Daycare currently employs 17 full-time and seven part-time employees, making for an $880,000 payroll that Jones noted is “directly supporting our local families.”

The group also spends $160,000 each year in local businesses.

“Play Fair Daycare’s contributions, totalling over a million dollars, is evident in that we help in fostering a thriving local economy,” she said.

Once construction is complete, the daycare will have 161 spaces in total between both buildings.