MIDALE, SASKATCHEWAN — A valuable project currently underway in Midale is going to bring a big change for many families in the area.
The new government-regulated daycare is currently getting approvals and is fundraising in hopes to open in early 2024. They've been approved for 40 spots, infant to preschool ages, and plan on adding another 20 school-age spots. To accommodate 60 children, the board has committed to a 4,000-square-foot building.
The facility will fall under the government's announced $10/day childcare initiative.
The Midale Daycare Inc. idea came out of a need the community had, and the project was started by board president Rachel Brochert.
"I ran a day home in town, and I would get messages every couple of days from people looking for childcare. And I was the only person, so I couldn't take everybody in," Brochert said, sharing the pre-story of the project. "And then I ended up getting pregnant and I was not going to have the day home anymore.
“And there was this panic of where these families would go, so I contacted the town and asked if there were any plans for a daycare to be opening. They said there were no plans yet. They were looking for somebody to get the project rolling."
Brochert was put in contact with Lana Hoium, who became the vice-president of the project. Soon other members, including treasurer Kea Toles, secretary Kylie McGregor, and members at large Brianna Martinson, Shayna Burke, Kayla Gill and Marla Homan, joined the board.
They started working on the project in February 2021 and were incorporated in July 2022. The initial projected budget was close to $1,130,000.
Brochert said getting a licensed daycare project up going is a big undertaking, especially since none of the board members had related experience before. But they were able to divvy the tasks up among members and have been gradually getting through stages.
"First thing was to get incorporated. That was mostly just cost. We asked the town and the RM if they would be interested in sharing those costs, and they said they would," Brochert said. "Then we had to do the community needs assessment and send that in to the government to get approved, and that got approved. And from there we needed a property."
The board reached out to the town again, and with no appropriate buildings available, the town donated a property close to Midale Central School, which is currently getting surveyed. Once it's surveyed and approved through community planning, the next steps will be to get the ground ready to have a modular RTM building installed. The board is working with ARC Modular & Construction out of Estevan.
"We're hoping to get it moved in late fall. And then we just need to get all the furniture and hire staff," Brochert said.
"We're hoping to have everything up and running by February of 2024. There are a whole bunch of moving parts, and we're waiting for all the red tape to go through on the surveying, and then once that's done, we can get the land prepped."
The board also reached out to the RM of Cymri and they've agreed to take on the rest of the loan after they are done fundraising, Brochert noted.
With the help of a grant of $400,000 from the Government of Saskatchewan and several donations from the community, by May 2023 the board was able to secure about $572,000 but has a long way to go. They recently were approved as a charitable organization and are starting to reach out to supporters to get to their target.
"We have just started fundraising. We've currently got a few smaller donations. And then we did have one donation of $100,000. That was an anonymous donor. And then another $50,000 donation was from Pro Canada West Energy," Brochert said.
They do have sponsorship packages with different tiers, ranging from under $10,000 to over $100,000 and coming with various naming rights opportunities and other recognition incentives.
"A donation of any amount is greatly appreciated," said the board. "Midale Daycare Inc. strives to offer a space for children to engage, grow and flourish; a safe environment where the needs of our children are met. We will provide a much-needed service to the Midale area and hope the addition of a daycare will be a catalyst for growth of our community. Please contact any of our board members with questions or to arrange a donation."
The board is also planning on having a hotdog sale during the town-wide garage sale day on May 27, and also looks into more community fundraisers later in the year.
"We are appreciative of all the support we have had so far. And I want to say thank you to everybody for really supporting the Midale Daycare project. It's our work, but it's also all the support we have, [that makes it happen]," Brochert added.
They expect to hire up to nine staff and are currently accepting resumés. The waiting list for children is open as well. The information can be sent to Midale Daycare at email@example.com.
To learn more about sponsorship opportunities please reach out to the Midale Daycare Inc. board.