Muskoka Lakes Preschool is officially open.
It will provide 36 new childcare spaces for toddlers to preschool-aged children. Lori Benton, Principal at Glen Orchard Public School, which is where the new preschool is located, explained it allows them to, potentially, care for children as young as 15 months to students entering grade eight.
The project was funded through the Ministry of Education.
“It’s not a great feeling as a working parent to not be able to secure daycare,” she continued, adding that some parents in the community have put their children on a waiting list prior to them being born. Now, with more spaces available, Benton hopes it will put parents at ease. “We’re hoping that this space brings that opportunity,” she added.
Parry Sound Muskoka MPP Graydon Smith was on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon, along with a handful of other dignitaries.
“It’s a game changer for families anytime we can expand childcare in Ontario,” he said.
Smith called this a “milestone moment” for the community and thanked staff from the District of Muskoka and Trillium Lakelands District School Board who supported the project. “Everyone just does such an amazing job and it’s all to build better communities,” said Smith.
Deputy Chair Rick Maloney attended the ceremony in place of District Chair Jeff Lehman. He echoed Smith’s appreciation for staff at the school. “They are the workforce that allows the workforce to do what it does,” he said.
The project was approved by the Ministry in 2018, however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the renovation work needed wasn’t started until July 2022.
Prior to the investment, the preschool had 20 childcare spaces available.