Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government is providing $1 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services and Waabinong Head Start Family Resource Centre to build a childcare centre in Sault Ste. Marie.
Funding was used to renovate six childcare classrooms.
“Before we moved to our new location, we had a split program where we had 24 children in the morning and 24 different children in the afternoon. Each program ran for three hours each per day and now we can offer childcare seven hours per day, five days per week,” said Kevin Tegosh, executive director, Waabinong Head Start Family Resource Centre.
Programs will be for Indigenous preschoolers and their families that promote the Anishinaabek culture and language.
“The availability of affordable and high-quality childcare is key to the peace of mind of parents as they go to school and work,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry and Minister of Indigenous Affairs.
“Our government is supporting Indigenous-focused childcare to ensure all Northern Ontario families have access to the supports they need.”
The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development.
“This funding supported the construction of much needed space for child and family care services that are being delivered by Waabinong Head Start. Combined with supports provided by the Indigenous Friendship Centre and housing delivered by Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services, Indigenous families are being provided the tools and environment for success,” said Justin Marchand, CEO, Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services.