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Early Learning Centre to expand on campus at Assiniboine Community College

Early Learning Centre to expand on campus at Assiniboine Community College

Written On: 12 April, 2018
Category: Academic Human Services Victoria Avenue East Campus
Related programs:  Early Childhood Education

The Assiniboine Early Learning Centre (AELC) at Assiniboine Community College is expanding and relocating this year, allowing for up to twenty more licensed spaces, including toddler and infant spots.

“The province of Manitoba is pleased to be a partner in this project that will create more quality and accessible childcare spaces in the Brandon area and shorten wait lists for families. Early learning and childcare plays a valuable role in a child’s development and allows their parents and guardians to attend school or work while knowing their children are safe and receiving good care,” said Families Minister Scott Fielding.

Minister Scott Fielding at AELC announcement.

The AELC, located at the college’s Victoria Avenue East campus in Brandon, is currently licensed for 34 preschool spaces. The learning centre will remain on campus but is relocating to the second floor in space that is currently unoccupied.

“Safe, available childcare continues to be a pressing issue across Manitoba and we’re pleased to partner with the province to invest in more spaces available for families,” said Assiniboine president Mark Frison. “This is an exciting, worthwhile project that we look forward to completing later this year.”

ACC president, Mark Frison, speaking at the AELC announcement.

The new space will allow for an additional 20 spots, for a total of up to 54 licensed spaces: 34 pre-school, 12 toddlers and eight infant.

Those additional spaces are “significant,” said Erin Ariss, board chair of the Assiniboine Early Learning Centre. 

“With this expansion, the benefits will be seen and felt beyond the walls of Assiniboine Early Learning Centre. The centre’s children, staff and families will see the change, but it will also benefit the students enrolled in the Early Childhood Education diploma program to increase their exposure to more ‘learn by doing’ opportunities,” Ariss said.

“Students and staff within the college will have more access to childcare spaces and there will be the creation of new job opportunities for Brandon and the Westman area,” she said.

The estimated $800,000 cost of the project is being paid for by both the college and province of Manitoba. A provincial grant will cover one-third of project costs, up to $267,000, with Assiniboine Community College covering the remaining two-thirds.

The project is expected to be completed by fall 2018.

Assiniboine Community College has supported the operation of an early learning centre at its Victoria Avenue East campus since 1982. The AELC operates separately from the college and is managed by a volunteer board. The college provides space and custodial services at no cost to the centre.

For more than a decade, in addition to the provision of childcare, the AELC has linked to the college’s Early Childhood Education program. This includes activities through interaction with children, observation and practicum opportunities.