Centreville Childcare celebrates grand opening

by | Jul 11, 2024

New centre adds to region’s daycare capacity

Years of planning, waiting, and setbacks finally came to an end on Saturday, June 22, as Centreville Childcare (CCC) celebrated the grand opening of its new, state-of-the-art facility.

Several dignitaries attended the grand opening and gave opening remarks before the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

District of Carleton North Mayor Andrew Harvey credited the Centreville Childcare administration and Richard and Tina Orser for the “amazing facility.”

Carleton-Victoria MLA Margaret Johnson applauded the “tenacity” of CCC Director Jill Shaw in overcoming the obstacles faced in building the facility.

Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Bill Hogan told the crowd that “early childhood education is fundamental for creating a strong, thriving society” and congratulated all involved.

Director Jill Shaw welcomed everyone who “came to share in a momentous occasion,” noting that the dream had finally become a reality.

That dream began in 2018. Shaw shared that she still has a yellow envelope that holds the graph paper they used to sketch out different designs for their new facility, which, at that point, was still only a hope.

In the fall of 2022, Richard Orser of Bridge View Plaza had a grandson enrolled in Centreville Childcare. He heard of Shaw’s plans to build a new facility and contacted her. The two met in January 2023.

“When he left that day [after meeting], I realized we were going to be able to do this; that it was going to happen,” said Shaw.  

They broke ground on August 21, 2023, at their site adjacent to the Centreville Community School.

While seeing her plan in action was a relief, Shaw said it was anything but smooth sailing. The project faced several challenges during the process, including design and licensing issues.

“I had a saying –– ‘It’s not no, it’s how can we make it work,'” said Shaw.

Her unwillingness to give up paid off.

The new facility has 11 bright classrooms and can accommodate 114 children, from infants to 12 years old. It also boasts a significantly larger playground area for the children.

“We went from a parking lot playground to this,” said Shaw, noting the expansive outdoor area already dotted with picnic tables and toys.

Shaw said the next step for the facility is to finish the playground area.

“We want to make the area as natural as possible,” said Shaw, who hopes to create a track for children to ride their bikes. New and continued donations are being directed to the playground’s completion.

It’s not just the adults who are enjoyed watching the facility take shape. Shaw said the daycare children at their old location at the nearby Centreville Baptist Church loved watching the building’s construction phases and were anxious to move into their new classrooms on June 11.

Inclusion Support Worker Stephanie Swim told the River Valley Sun that the children “love the change,” especially being able to run and play on such a big playground and the bright classrooms.

“Our educators strive to instill a love of learning daily,” said Shaw. “We love what we do and we love who we do it for.”

With a new facility, early childhood educators in Centreville can also love where they do it.

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