Second daycare location will have major, positive impact on Moosomin

Additional daycare will allow more people to work and live in Moosomin, relieving backlog of people waiting for daycare spots

November 15, 2023, 10:18 am
Kara Kinna and Kevin Weedmark


“We are very excited about the news of the 90 daycare spots,” says Jalisa Miller, the chair of the Play Fair Daycare board. “We have had an application in for about six years for these spots. We know how much the town needs the extra childcare spaces and in order to accommodate further economic development in the town these spots are essential.”

Miller says four of the spots will be put to use right away in the existing daycare building.

“We will actually be able to use four of the spots right away in our current building as we have the space for them, but we were limited on licensed spaces before. The remainder of the spots we will be planning on building a new building.

“We approached the town to see if they had any lots set aside for a new daycare building and they only had one residential lot that won’t be large enough. Our next step will be to approach the school board to see if there is potential to build it somewhere in the school yard. If that’s not possible we will begin searching for another location. Close to the school is a must because we have to accommodate kids that are coming before and after school.”

Miller says the announcement from the government is a massive step forward and should take care of a large portion of the costs associated with building a second daycare building.

“We know the government will be giving us funding to support the new building,” she said. “We haven’t received the details on total funding but it will cover a huge portion of what a new building will cost. The remainder we will have to come up with through donations fundraising etc.”

Mayor says huge need for more daycare
Moosomin Mayor Larry Tomlinson said there is a huge need for additional daycare spots in Moosomin.

“It’s very important for us to go ahead within the town, because I know that even at the hospital there’s nurses that have had babies and can’t come back to work because they’ve got no daycare for their kids,” he says. “In all businesses, for people to come back to work, there are just no spaces. I think for us to grow, that’s what had to happen and that was one of the things that was kind of putting us on hold a little bit—so it’s huge, that is a huge thing. Now we need to get it off the ground and built.”

Tomlinson said the town will help in any way they can.

“If they were asking the town to do something, possibly the town might donate a couple lots to put it on. I’m not exactly sure what their plans are but when they come to us we’ll see what we can do, whether it’s donating a couple of lots to put the building on or whatever our portion is of putting something into it. I could see something like that happening,” he says.

How important is this to the town overall?

“Well I think it fits in very well in terms of putting people to work that possibly couldn’t work because of nowhere to put their children,” he says. “I think it’s very huge. It will put people to work as well and it will help us expand some more.”

The daycare announcement on Friday is one of a number of new developments for the town of Moosomin in recent months, including a new gym under construction and several new businesses under construction, an airport expansion, a new outdoor basketball court, and a new visual arts centre in development. Tomlinson says it’s a testament of people working together for a common cause to move the town forward.

“I think the whole town has worked together and everybody’s pushing for things,” he says. “It’s pretty exciting times and we can’t ask for much more than what we’re getting. People are working hard to get it, so good for them and good for the town. It’s awesome and it’s exciting. We just keep pushing forward and I think we’ll become a well-known regional centre before we know it here and I think it’s excellent.

“Maybe the World-Spectator is a big part of this with the paper, how well it’s distributed and how well you do it. It keeps people pumped and once they’re pumped then things are going to happen.”

‘Extremely important’ says EDO
“It’s extremely important,” says Moosomin’s EDO Casey McCormac of the announcement on Friday. “We’ve had parents reach out to us a long time ago saying that we needed more daycare spots because I know that their waitlist is huge—if you’re planning to get pregnant in the next year, you need to be on the wait list which is insane for people.

“So it’s definitely needed and we have more and more kids in our community. It’s important because if parents can’t get daycare then they can’t go to work and that hurts our economy in the town.”

McCormac says adding a second daycare location is a crucial step in the continuing development of the town of Moosomin.

“I think it just builds and it brings more amenities to the town of Moosomin, and so more and more people are going to want to move here. It’s also creating more jobs for people,” she says.

McCormac says one of the biggest needs for economic development now is more residential development.

“The biggest thing is residential development because we don’t have enough houses to house these new people,” she says.

Needed in order to grow, says Gray
“It’s huge,” adds Moosomin Town Councillor Murray Gray and the chair of the town’s economic development committee. “It’s something that we need in order to grow at all. We are limited to our workforce without it. There are many key positions in our community that we can’t hire without daycare spots. It is a TSN turning point for sure to finally gain these spots.”

How much work went into letting the government know that Moosomin was in dire need of daycare spots?

“It was more of a letter to tell the story of where we are at,” says Gray. “It was a lot of making sure they knew within the government department how we have grown as a community and where we plan to be and how daycare spots can inhibit that growth.

“It was a whole lot of making sure the ‘aha’ moment was had by the members of the government.

“If you have all these new businesses coming to town and they can’t hire new employees because they don’t have anywhere for their kids to go, obviously it would be part of the challenges. And I think HR is a big challenge for every new business and existing business. So it is definitely piece of the puzzle. And to be honest my expectations were not to get the whole 90 spots that were applied for. This is a huge bonus, but that being said, we will be able to fill all 90 of those spots in due time, I know we will be able to.”

Gray says from an economic development standpoint, the additional daycare spots and additional building meets one of the town’s major goals.

“This is the fruit of our labor,” he says. “We’ve been working very hard at economic development as a committee and as a community for a few years now. And the hard work and all the connections and everything we’ve done, this is the fruit of that labor for sure—it’s part of the next step and takes us to the next level.”

How did Moosomin get there?

“I think it’s progressive thinking,” he says. “I think it’s things like the CBA (Community Builder’s Alliance) and the collaboration that we have between our municipal governments. I think working together you can accomplish a heck of a lot more than working on your own. And I think that’s the biggest advantage we have is like-minded people working together for a common goal.”