A brand new YWCA centre is opening up much-needed child care space in the Queen City.
On Wednesday, the YWCA Regina Centre for Play and Development officially opened at 1855 2nd Ave. N.
The facility houses two childcare areas offering a total of 141 child care spaces, 51 of which are new to Regina, for children six weeks to six years old. This replaces the existing 90 spaces at the YWCA’s Century Crescent Childcare Centre.
“We continually have wait lists for our childcare centres,” said Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, CEO of YWCA Regina.
“So for us it’s really important for us to ensure we are providing early childhood education to young people so that parents can work and participate in the economy of our province.”
Kathe Scrobe is a working mom of two young boys. She said when her child care search first began in 2015, she called, left messages, was placed on wait lists — eventually finding space at a home centre before securing spots at YWCA Regina.
“It’s hard to find something in your neighbourhood, something that is open at appropriate times so you can get to work on time, and stay how long you need to. It’s hard to find flexibility and things that work for working parents,” she said.
The centre, located near two schools, will offer a before-and-after school program, with evening and weekend care slated to start soon. The building also boasts plenty of natural light, a large outdoor space and amenities including a kitchen space.
“A very unique kind of space that will allow kids to participate in outdoor activities, understand science projects and things like that just because of the nature of the building,” Coomber-Bendtsen said.
The child care areas are named Deanna’s Den and Sally’s Place, with 90 and 51 spaces respectively, after registered nurse and pre-natal class teacher Sally Elliott, women’s advocate Dr. Sally Mahood and former YWCA executive director Deanna Elias-Henry.
Coomber-Bendtsen said they are still accepting applications for Sally’s Place, with 10 spots left as of last month.
Currently, there is 5,000 square feet of unfinished space the YWCA may use for affordable housing, family programs or community office space.