Listowel's Eastdale Public School is getting additional provincial government funding for child care improvements that will provide three additional child care rooms, 98 new pupil spaces, and 49 licensed child care spaces in a 'new state of the art child care centre'.
Extra funding of $2.1 million, now a total of $6.4 million for the project, was announced this week by Matthew Rae, Perth-Wellington MPP.
“This is an important announcement for Listowel, surrounding communities, and the many young families that reside here,” Rae said in a media release. “It is investments like these that make our rural communities both more affordable and attractive for families.”
Dr. Lisa Walsh, Avon Maitland District School Board director of education, said the board is grateful for the support.
“We are thrilled to engage in this multi-sector partnership that enables us all to support the families that we serve,” said . “This additional funding from the Province of Ontario will support our project to reduce space pressures at Listowel Eastdale and improve access to child care for Listowel families."
Funding is derived from the Conservative government's plans to provide $14 billion to support school construction, repairs, and renewal over the next 10 years.
Rae announced funding of $2.9 million for Milverton Public School earlier this month for two additional child care rooms and 39 new child care spaces.
Rae told StratfordToday that the initial funding announcements were made before last year's provincial election. The government decided on additional funding, including an extra $1.7 million for the Milverton P.S. project.
"The Ministry (of Education) has provided more funding due to inflation and additional building costs," he said.
The school board will determine when construction starts, Rae said.
"Ideally we would like to see shovels in the ground as soon as possible."
Rae said there are no more immediate child care funding announcements for the Perth-Wellington area.
The provincial government has approved nearly 200 school construction projects and the development of more than 300 child care and education building-related projects in Ontario. More than 100 are under construction.
The project in Listowel will also include investment in tutoring and mental health supports.