Gull Lake Welcomes New Early Learning Center

By Layla Baird of The Gull Lake Advance

It has been two long years on the waiting list, but the time has finally arrived for Gull Lake to have its first licensed childcare facility. This is great news for many parents and businesses who will benefit from having the Kreative Kidz Early Learning Center in the community.

“The positive spin offs from having a licensed center in Gull Lake are going to be numerous. First of all, we will be providing a service to the community that there is an ever growing need for. We will also have a positive impact on the children we will be working with,” Director Rebecca Anderson said. “Licensed childcare is not a babysitting service. We aim to provide high quality care that helps a child through all areas of development in a safe and nurturing environment.”

Anderson added that the center will be creating jobs, as well as putting money back into the community by buying locally when possible. The center will also help to encourage families to stay and new families to move to Gull Lake.

According to the press release from April 8, 2013, Childcare Resource and Research Unit published a report that said only 21.8 per cent of children aged five and under have access to licensed childcare facilities in Canada. Small communities, like Gull Lake, have felt the results of this deficiency for a long time. When licensed places were approved by the Ministry of Education in December of 2012, it is no surprise that planning on the facility began soon after.

While only 25 spots were approved based on the current space being used for the facility, it is a good start. Anderson mentioned that if there is a proven need for more spaces, they will be applied for; however, more spaces will mean that the facility will need a larger permanent place in order to meet regulation. Options for future growth are being looked at, but for the moment the center will be located in the United Knox Church.

Policy is already being written by Anderson for the current facility, and the center has been receiving much of the furnishings and materials needed to create the childcare environment. There is, however, still a need for staff before the center opens on May 1 of this year. The center is hiring for all positions and anyone interested is asked to apply. There are both part-time and full-time positions available.

An open house and registration evening being held in Gull Lake on Apr. 22 will provide an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about the Kreative Kidz Early Learning Center. Parents can register their children, who are between the ages of six week and 12 years, at the open house, but will have the opportunity to register after the 22nd until all the spaces are filled.

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