Much needed child care spots in Muskoka are being created through the expansion of the Macaulay Tree House Daycare.

The new building, funded through the District Municipality of Muskoka, will add 73 spots for the care of young children from 3 months to 4 years of age.  That brings the total number of daycare spots to 130, which will help with a severe shortage says Tree House’s executive director Leesa Horsfield.

The other by-product of the increase is staffing increases. Horsfield estimates there will be 15 to 20 new hires on top of the 30 staff currently on board.

She also underlines the importance of licensed daycare for the safety and well-being of children.

A recent study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives noted that less than half the children in Bracebridge and Gravenhurst have an available childcare space.

District Chair for Muskoka, John Klink, said he was pleased to be involved with Macaulay Tree House expansion.

Council is so pleased to be partnering with Macaulay Tree House to bring these much-needed spaces into reality, as they are critical to our community and economic development goals for the District,” Klinck said in a statement.

Construction is expected to start in September with a completion date of early summer 2019.