Ribbon-cutting held at rejuvenated Child Development Centre in Smiths Falls
The Smiths Falls Thurber Street Child Development Centre celebrated it’s official re-opening on Thursday Feb 12. The centre, which had been mothballed a year ago, has had a complete face-lift, inside and out thanks to funding from Lanark County.
At the re-opening of the Smiths Falls Thurber Street Child Development Centre, Mayor Shawn Pankow had enthusiastic help cutting the ribbon. Shown here from left front: Zoey Kelford-Bingley (6-yrs), Mayor Shawn Pankow, Raiyden Castle (7yrs); Back Tammy Kealey-Donaldson, Children’s Services Manager Lanark County and Smiths Falls Councillor Peter McKenna.
“For people in our community who have a young family, they know they have the opportunity to return to the workforce understanding that their kids are in a great spot,” said Mayor Shawn Pankow.
The town day care centre had been mothballed a year ago, but when the county received provincial funding to open new day care spaces in the region they approached Smiths Falls.
“It was on my work plan for 2020/21 but the county was looking to increase daycare spaces in Smiths Falls due to the growth,” said Art Manhire, director of Community Services.
The town had maintained the day care’s licensing which made it easier to re-open on short notice.
“If we hadn’t kept the licensing it would have taken us at least six months to re-qualify, but because we kept it, the ministry was able to come in and inspect the work as it was ongoing,” said Manhire.
The county provided a total of $150,000 to renovate the tired older building and purchase new playground equipment, but the money had to be spent by December 2018.
“It’s had a total face-lift, we redid the parking lot and installed a new HVAC system. Renovated the kitchen and bathrooms and we’ve purchased new playground equipment that will be installed in the spring,” said Manhire.
Among those who attended the ribbon cutting and open house at the newly re-opened Thurber Street Child Development Centre in Smiths Falls were past and current staff. Shown here from Left Autumn Hewitt and Brighton Cassidy with Cassidy’s daughter Blair Lightbody. These two young women are graduates of the day care and are oth early childhood educators who teach at the CDC while Lightbody attends the program.
There were several members of council County Staff in attendance at the ribbon cutting along with early childhood educators and their families. Some of the CDC staff in attendance were graduates of the day care centre and now have their own children enrolled.
“It’s just another key cornerstone of your community that helps us grow as a healthy community and prosperous community,” concluded Pankow.
Parents affected by the strikes are encouraged to call 613 283-2898 to arrange for space for their child at any of the town’s PA day programs.