ABOYNE – The new Wellington Place Child Care and Learning Centre is officially open.
The grand opening took place on Aug. 29 with a number of families, politicians and Wellington County employees in attendance.
Luisa Artuso, director of Children’s Early Years for Wellington County, said the new centre is a welcoming place where families, staff, service agencies and the community will work together to have a positive impact on every child who goes through the program.
“This is a place where children will experience an environment and approaches that meet each child’s health and wellbeing, safety and nutritional needs (and) promotes children to interact and communicate in a positive way,” said Artuso.
The $3.7-million dollar centre will offer 64 new spaces for infants, toddlers and preschoolers up to four years of age, including children with special needs.
Warden Kelly Linton said the county’s strategic plan “states that people are our priority.
“This beautiful facility is just one more example how we’re transforming Wellington Place to be a campus designed to serve the needs of our community and make life better for our residents and our families.”
The centre is located on the Wellington Place campus across the road from the Wellington Terrace Long-Term Care Home and the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health office.
The Wellington County Museum and Archives and the Aboyne library are down the road in one direction while the new Groves hospital is down the road in the other direction.
With the Aboyne facility, the county now has licenced full-day, full-time infant child care facilities in five of its seven municipalities.
“Simply to put it, our long-term goal is to have licensed full-day, full-time child care spaces for infants, toddlers and preschoolers as well as the Early On centres in every municipality in the County of Wellington,” said social services committee chair and county councillor David Anderson at the opening.
The new facility was made possible due to funding from Wellington County and the Ministry of Education.
“Our biggest concern is that we want to make the County of Wellington a better place for our families to raise our children,” Anderson said.
Linton said children will have the opportunity to play in a safe, modern and happy learning environment with 190 acres of trails, buildings, services and green spaces.
He said he’s excited for families in the community.
“We know that we have a significant shortfall of full-time, full-year licensed child care; this facility is so important to our families,” Linton said.
“Knowing your children are in a safe place allows you as a parent or guardian to participate in the labour force and pursue educational opportunities.
“We know that for every dollar spent on high quality, full-time child care there are benefits to our local economy, enabling families to be more financially secure.”
Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott also offered his congratulations in a letter read by Linton.
Arnott echoed the warden’s comments that the new child care facility is needed so the local economy can continue to flourish and people can continue to work.
Senator Rob Black said children and families are a significant part of Wellington.
“I’m supportive of any and all initiatives that help parents and enrich the lives of children and I am optimistic that this new childcare centre will do both,” Black said.
“It will help parents who are in the workforce and will meet a critical need in our community.”
Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong, VG Architect partner Paul Sapounzi and Demikon Construction Ltd. president Mike Demerling also offered their congratulations and thanked the county for its efforts.