Children from Winnipeg’s North End had shovels in hand on Tuesday afternoon as the community broke ground on the site where a new child care centre will be erected.
Little Stars PLAYhouse Centre is a partnership with many groups in Manitoba and will be home to the North End Stay and Play Program.
The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) donated $750,000 to the project, while Ottawa contributed $900,000.
MMF President David Chartrand stressed the importance of the funding for youth.
“We’re making sure this project is going to happen, that the shovels will go in the ground, and this beautiful building will be erected,” said Chartrand. “Our investment is to the children. That’s the next leaders of tomorrow. But if we don’t start investing them at this age now, how do we expect them to succeed later in life.”
Music and jigging helped kick off the community celebration.
Winnipeg North Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureaux spoke on federal support.
“When we think in terms of here in the North End, the demand is very high. The type of importance in having a cultural sensitivity in particular to the North End needs is critically important,” said Lamoureaux. “I understand that the total contribution is going to be just under $1 million coming from Ottawa and we think that’s going to go a long way in terms of assisting what is a fantastic idea that’s going to help so many children.”
The centre will be available for early-year child care from newborns up to age five during the days and will offer music programs in the evenings.