Set to make the jump from the Mockingbird Drive location, the centre will now occupy the west side of the new Riverside Public School building on William Street in Elmira.
The current child care centre building was constructed in 1976, and due to the aging structure, regional council approved a plan for a new facility.
Sheri Phillips is the interim director of children’s services with the Region of Waterloo, and she says both the staff at the centre and the region are eagerly anticipating the opening of the new facility.
“They are very excited. They are really looking forward to getting into the space,” she said of centre staff. “I think that there is always excitement when there is a new facility that is being opened. It is a beautiful facility as well, and we are continuing with our HighScope curriculum at the Elmira Child Care Centre, so we can’t wait.”
Some of the features included in the new wing of the Riverside PS will aid child care centre staff with maintaining in improving their delivery of that curriculum, a program that emphasizes hands-on learning.
“Both in the playground and the centre itself, there is a lot of natural wood design and equipment. It is part of that natural side of the HighScope curriculum,” said Phillips. “Our family centre and the playroom have running water. That is new to those areas. Just for water play and it is part of making the family rooms real, and more accessible.”
The centre will also allow for higher registration numbers with the Elmira Child Care Centre. The current building can accommodate 31 children, while the new facility has nearly twice the room, allowing 61 child spaces and nine spots for infants. There is also a chance for the centre to join with Riverside PS, making the transition from child care to elementary school a bit smoother.
Opening to the community next year, the facility also has space for family services. The date has not been confirmed, but is expected to open in early 2017.
Riverside PS opened its doors in September, for students to take a seat in their new classrooms in time for the beginning of the school year. The region’s plan was to focus on the school to ensure a timely opening, while continuing work on the child care centre at the same time.