Opening of Maggie’s Early Learning Centre
Maggie’s Child Care Centre started from a discussion between professionals in Saskatoon concerning the needs of teen-aged parents. In March 1990 the Steering Committee submitted a proposal to the Federal Child Care Initiatives Funds for a demonstration project. The project was approved for a three year period and Maggie’s opened its doors in October 1990.
Maggie’s started out in an older house at 410 Ave G South that was renovated to meet the needs of the child care centre and government standards. The Muttart Foundation provided money so the centre could add some safety features, such as a second floor fire escape. The Centre was open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and had 14 spaces available for nine infants and five toddlers. Six paid staff were employed. The child care service was free for the parents during the three year period. In turn, parents were required to volunteer some time at the centre.
Maggie’s Child Care was not only a child care centre. We also had a parent program. The program offered a variety of educational, recreational, and social activities that helped build a support network among teen-aged parents. Maggie’s even kept a supply of groceries on hand, in case the parents needed to eat or take some food home. A“swap-shop” allowed parents the opportunity to exchange clothing. The parents who used Maggie’s Child Care Centre needed to be enrolled in an education program such as: high school, college or university, training school, life skills program, or personal development classes.
Major Changes in 1993
In 1993 Maggie’s three year project ended and the federal funding was running out. Maggie’s was forced to re-locate, as the current location was much too expensive. Social Services agreed to fund the day care if we moved into a High School. The Saskatoon Board of Education offered Maggie’s the use of two classrooms in City Park Collegiate. However, these classrooms needed renovations to create a facility that met the fire and safety regulations. The school board agreed to pick up the costs for the renovations, but needed a commitment from the Centre to pay the money back over a period of time. Maggie’s was confident that they could pay the entire bill through fund raising and donations and that a five year plan would not be necessary.
In January 1994 Maggie’s Early Learning Centre re-opened its doors after several worrisome months and some successful fund-raising. The centre’s new home at City Park Collegiate was freshly renovated and rent free, providing space for 9 infants and 5 toddlers.
MAGGIE’S EARLY LEARNING CENTRE TODAY
Maggie’s has a long history of providing excellent care to Infants and Toddlers. Originally opened in 1990, as a Teen Centre, the Board of Directors secured funding from the Federal Government to run a three-year pilot project to support teen parents to finish their education. In 1993, the project ended and we were able obtain funding from the Saskatchewan Government and work with the Saskatoon Board of Education. We moved to City Park Collegiate where two classrooms were renovated to allow us to care for 9 infants and 5 toddlers as well as providing support to teen parents attending the high school.
In February 2015, the Saskatoon Board of Education determined that City Park Collegiate was to be re-purposed as a multi‐use facility. With that decision, no regular high school students would be attending the school. In the fall of 2015, the following school programs were in operation: On‐Line Learning Centre, EcoQuest, Outdoor School, and a new Flexible Timetable, Blended Learning Program.
With the transition of City Park Collegiate and the programming being offered, the need for Maggie’s shifted. We realized there was a great need for working families to access this service. In January 2016, the Board of Directors approved to offer spaces to working parents. Maggie’s official name was changed to Maggie’s Early Learning Centre Inc. and our e-mail address was changed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
As well, the Board of Directors approved a plan to the Ministry of Education for more spaces. We then became licensed for 9 Infants, 15 Toddlers and 10 Preschool spaces.