BRANDON, MAN. — Manitoba will contribute $600,000 in capital funding for a child care expansion project at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Brandon’s Y Downtown Early Learning Centre.
The expansion was made possible through a capital grant under the Early Learning and Child Care Building Fund, which dedicates $1.9 million annually for child care centre development projects. This fund supports increases in community-based child care spaces across the province through new construction or the expansion of existing centres to increase their capacity. The Y Downtown child care centre project was awarded the maximum grant available under the fund.
The expansion project will double the facility’s spaces to 96 from 48. It will create 12 new infant spaces and 36 preschool spaces.
“The Y is thrilled to be increasing the number of child care spaces in our community, particularly infant and toddler spaces,” said Lon Cullen, president and CEO, YMCA of Brandon in a statement. “This is particularly important given the dire shortage of infant spaces in our community. We are thankful to the province to be able to enhance our child care spaces in the Dood Cristall Family YMCA located in the heart of downtown.”
The expansion of the Y Downtown’s child care facility is part of a larger effort underway at the YMCA of Brandon. In addition to increasing accessibility to child care spaces, the project includes initiatives to increase space for supportive programming and creating two outdoor play areas. The centre expansion is expected to open in November 2023.