Quality, affordable child care is crucial to help families move out of poverty and ensure that children have the very best start in life.
The problem is there is a lack of affordable childcare spots, especially those that address the unique challenges low-income families face. Parents who are trying to go back to work or school are straining their budgets, in some cases spending more on child care than rent, food, and transportation combined.
As a result, many families have no other option but to find lower-quality child care settings that are often unregulated and not monitored for health and safety.
We believe that children and families deserve better.
After years of dreaming and planning, we are ready to begin construction on our new Early Learning & Child Care Centre. The new centre will be uniquely suited to support children and families enduring the hardships of poverty.
For over 40 years, Bissell Centre has operated a free, respite Child Care that welcomes up to 40 infants and children every day. To meet the growing need for quality, affordable child care and to better support low-income families, we are expanding our accredited child care services to include 30 new full time affordable spots with extended hours.
This means, our new centre will impact over 400 individual children each year.
The new larger space, in walking distance from Bissell Centre, will include: an infant room, a baby room, 2 toddlers rooms, 2 pre-school rooms, and an outdoor play space.
Early Learning programming will include: organic and holistic educational activities (Flight Framework), learning through play, healthy meals and snacks, quiet time, field trips, as well as access to family supports, such as diapers, formula, clothing, parenting classes and other essential resources.
We couldn’t be more excited to see our project coming to life!
Bissell Centre caregivers establish familiar routines and offer high-quality, nurturing care to children to promote healthy development and growth. Many parents we support see significant positive changes in their children, helping alleviate stress and worry at home. One mother shared, “My son’s social skills were really bad, but he’s learning now. He’s starting to use more syllables than usual, and more words and gestures. It’s gotten easier since coming here.”
The growth and change we see in families who use our current respite child care is overwhelming. We love to hear when parents are going back to school, starting businesses, and getting ahead—but nothing tops the feeling when a young adult returns to Bissell Centre years later to thank us for caring for them. Our new Centre will allow us to invest in the futures of even more children and families.
Meet some of our families …
(Click or tap an image above to read the story on our blog)
To make our vision a reality, we need to raise a total of $1,495,000.
$580,000 still needed!
Thank you to the many individuals and groups who have contributed to our project! And a special thank you to our project funders and partners: Estate of William Lindsay, Government of Alberta, Stollery Charitable Foundation, Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, St. Paul’s Foundation, Capital Region Housing, DIALOG, IKEA Canada, Education Station, Rago Millwork.
Renovations – The new Early Learning & Child Centre needs extensive renovations to meet child care licensing requirements required before we can open. We are seeking public and private contributions to raise the remaining funds to get the doors open.
Program Funding – Once we open the doors, we’re going to require funds to sustain our daily operations. Over the coming months we’ll be fundraising for healthy meals and snacks, supplies, activities, and general operational needs.
ELCC funding – In 2018, Bissell Centre was one of 122 Alberta organizations to receive Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) funding, capping fees at $25 per child per day. This funding gave us confidence to move forward with our project, knowing we could ensure increased accessibility and affordability for families struggling on small incomes. With the Alberta budget now revealed, and uncertainty that ELCC funding will be extended, we are exploring alternative strategies to make our new centre as affordable for families as possible.
If you believe that every child deserves early learning opportunities… If you believe moms and dads should have a chance to re-enter the workforce or go back to school… And if you believe strengthening our community starts from the ground up – please consider supporting our new Early Learning & Child Care project.
Your gift will help make our new Early Learning & Child Care Centre a reality. Let’s help families together!
Interested in supporting or funding our project in a significant way? We want to hear your ideas!
Our government wants to hear from you. Let them know you care about quality, affordable child care.
Organize your own event to raise funds with family, friends, or colleagues to make a big impact! ♡