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Mehrad Mohammadkhani, one of the operators with the It Takes a Village child-care centre, says their second location should be open in August. (Jacob Moore/Acadia Broadcasting)

New Hammonds Plains child-care centre may be ready in August

By Jacob Moore May 1, 2024 | 12:42 PM

The Nova Scotia government is giving $275,000 to a child care group for a new child-care facility in Hammonds Plains.

It Takes a Village hopes to open their second location in August, says Mehrad Mohammadkhani, one of the operators with It Takes a Village.

“The best way to do it for us, that would serve more families in our community, is to expand and provide more high quality spaces,” says Mohammadkhani.

This is the first project that falls under a funding program announced in December 2023, the Minor Infrastructure Program for New Early Learning and Child Care Space Creation. The program offers money to not-for-profit child-care providers.

The new location will be at Voyageur Lakes Plaza. Mohammadkhani says they will combine three units to create classrooms, and the school would take on about 78 children, including preschoolers and toddlers.

Mohammadkhani says the board decided to apply for the funding because so many people are on the child-care waitlist.

He says they have 74 kids in their one location, but there are over 700 families on their waitlist. Spaces at the new facility will go to people on the waitlist.

“We prefer to give those options to those families that are in need.”

If families are in need, they can reach out to It Takes a Village and they will try to accommodate everyone the best they can, he says.

He says they put up a sign about the new facility and already he’s getting 10 to 20 emails a day from families who want to apply for spaces.

It Takes a Village will hire at least 12 staff and operate in a similar way to the current child-care centre, although some prices for operation will go up, like power and groceries, he says, but through the funding from the government, they should be able to accommodate that.

The provincial government had multiple candidates, but the second location for It Takes a Village was “ready to go,” says Druhan. She says the Minor Infrastructure program is designed to create spaces quickly, while the projects under the Major Infrastructure program could take longer.

The Hammonds Plains area needs child care, she says, because the population is growing and because a lot of people travel to and from the area for work.

“As a parent, I know the importance of reliable and quality childcare. I know the importance of having care that is closer to home care that gives parents peace of mind,” says Education Minister Becky Druhan.