July 31, 2016 the Minister of Families sent out a statement that there were 14,872 names on the wait list for childcare in Manitoba. 15,000 kids who don’t have an adequate place to be cared for while their parents. In Virden there are 140 kids waiting for a spot to open at Funshine Early Learning Centre on Oxford Street. Having a 140 child waitlist means it can take three to three and a half years for a child to gain a spot at the care centre. Hopefully this list will start getting shorter very soon.
Funshine, which currently has a facility that can hold 35 kids, has been working towards an expansion facility allowing for an additional 66 kids. Architects are currently finalizing the drawings of this new building and are at the 99 percent mark. They have pre-qualified the tenders, meaning once they are at the tendering stage, all the bids are successful candidates and things will move forward smoothly.
Fort La Bosse School Division was the benefiter of the public school finance board grant through the province. Funshine Early Learning Centre Inc. applied for, and was granted permission from the School Division to operate in the building. Funshine is hoping to break ground early next spring (2017) with a projected six to eight month build. The new centre will be located beside the Chevron Rink at the Junior High.
Louis Dreyfus Commodities (LDC) in Virden was happy to be able to present the Funshine Early Learning Centre with a cheque for over $12,000. Patrick Martens stated, “This wouldn’t have been possible without the great support from our local farming community.” He went on to mention the great coming together of community members for LDC’s ‘Field of Dreams’.
“We had five local farmers put in their time and money to make this project successful. Clifford Whittle sprayed this field numerous times, harrowed and hauled the Nexera canola, Cal Leslie seeded the canola, Barry Hutchison applied the fertilizer, Scott Gerrand swathed the canola and Doug Heritage brought down two combines and had the crop harvested in no time at all.” Martens also stated that there was corporate support as well, “DOW Argo Sciences donated 2020 Nexera Seed, BASF donated the herbicide Ares for the Clearfield canola, and Monsanto donated the roundup.”
Funshine is continuing to fundraise so they can purchase all the required toys, learning materials, appliances, security systems, outdoor landscaping and equipment. To sow into the future of child care here in Virden, Shelby Rampton can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org