By Joanne Rodgers, Bruce Peninsula Press
The long awaited modern facility housing the Tobermory Primary Place Child Care Centre (TPP) was officially opened on November 6, 2023.
The newly renovated daycare is located in the St Edmunds Public School building at 21 Centennial Drive in Tobermory. Currently with 16 children enrolled, the 39-childcare licenced space includes a preschool room and a toddler room each with their play area outside, a kitchen and staff room. The construction of this first class space was made possible through approximately $940,000 in Ministry of Education Child Care Capital Funding and the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan, and was a partnership between Bluewater District School Board and Tobermory Primary Place Child Care Centre. The Tobermory Primary Place Child Care Centre operates as a non-profit, charitable organization run by a local volunteer-led Board of Directors.
Representatives from Bluewater District School Board and Bruce County, The Mayor and CAO and Councillor Golden from the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula (MNBP), the Principal of St Edmunds, staff of Tobermory Primary Place Child Care Centre, current and future daycare attendees and members of the public attended the Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting ceremony and open house.
All of the speakers paid tribute to the numerous people who have supported the vision over the past few decades, from past and present members at the Federal, Provincial, County and Municipality levels as well as all those community members for their generosity and coming together over the years to make this daycare space a reality.
Jane Thomson, Local School Trustee and Chair of the Bluewater District School Board says “St Edmund Public School has always been a truly unique little school in our Board. I cannot think of a better location for a new child care centre that will accommodate the needs of the current and future generations of young children and their families … Our children will surely reap the benefits of your hard work and commitment that has brought us this remarkable, inspiring and modernized learning environment.”
Mayor Milt McIver highlighted the benefits to the local children, saying “this relocation and expansion for Tobermory Primary place ensures a seamless delivery of childcare and early years programs and services, providing the foundation for all future learning, behaviour and health” and will allow them to “develop the skills that they need to meet their full potential and achieve better educational outcomes.” The advantages extended into the wider community, Mayor McIver says “expanded access to licensed, quality childcare services will also positively impact our local economy, encourage workforce participation and reduce poverty for low-income families”.
Amanda Hofstrand, President of the Board of Directors of Tobermory Primary Place (TPP) Child Care made special mention of the hard work and dedication of the early childhood educators, and says Supervisor Andrea Munn and Andrea Edgerton, Assistant Supervisor “do it all.”
Principal Brenda Brewer says St Edmunds has always been a community school, now with the daycare, it becomes more of a community space. Brewer is excited to see the new crop of kids, mentioning that there will be twice as many kids enrolled in Junior Kindergarten next year.
The Community members in attendance were visibly thrilled about this new daycare learning environment, enthusing: “it is a beautiful space”, “wonderful for the community” and “ a long time coming”.
For more information on childcare programs available at Tobermory Primary Place, please visit https://www.tobermoryprimaryplace.ca/