Children's First Centre
Created October  2, 2011 by Paula Guy
**The Children's First Centre is an early childhood learning and care Centre for children (6 months to 12 years) in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Our community needs this Centre and we need your support. Be a part of the Dream.
Below is information on our project. Also please check out our pictures and videos. Thanks!!!!!!**
The Centre will provide 120 childcare spaces for children of 6 months to 12 years of age. The Centre will combine four early childhood centres in Inuvik: Aboriginal Head Start, Inuvik Child Development Centre, Inuvik Preschool, and Tot Spot.
Our community is rapidly approaching a crisis in child care. Our elementary school, which houses the Inuvik Child Development Centre, will be closed in June 2012 and demolished soon after.
The Children First Society has been fundraising for six years to build the new Centre and has raised over $3.0 million. Land has been donated, building materials and labour have been donated, but it's not enough. We still need to raise $1.5 million to complete the project.
The Aviva Insurance Community Fund has brought some much-needed publicity to the Centre, with virtually every media in the NWT covering our efforts to gain votes. In addition, the vote has really pulled our community together to work towards this valuable cause. All levels of government have put their support behind the Centre.
**Inuvik Town Council has recently budgeted $2.3 million towards the construction of the new centre. This leaves a shortfall of $1.5 million to complete construction. Funds from the Aviva Community Fund will go towards the purchase of construction materials. To recognize the Aviva contribution we plan to name the entrance and foyer the "Aviva Entrance".**
Site preparation has been completed. Foundation pilings will go in this winter and construction will begin in May 2012. We hope to open the new Centre in July 2013.
Our project has never enjoyed so much support as the community recognizes the urgent need for this Centre.
**What is the Children’s First Centre** - The Children’s First Centre is an early childhood (6 months to 12 years old) care and education Centre. The Centre will provide safe and accessible child care so parents can enter the work force or take part in employment training and education opportunities. The Centre will offer a variety of programming and services to young children and their families. It will be a place where children will develop lifelong learning skills that will increase their future success in education and work. The Centre will provide strong basic building blocks for continued health and social wellness. Community health and wellness will be strengthened by offering early intervention and prevention programs. Integration of traditional Aboriginal knowledge and culture will be part of the program offered at the Centre to ensure future generations are independent and strong community members.
**How big is the Centre and what will it cost** - The Centre will be approximately 13,000 sq feet (1300 m3), As shown in the drawing below it is a single story facility that has been designed for early childhood care and education. The Centre has also been designed to take advantage of natural sunlight and other aspects of the site. Located in the heart of the community, it is in close proximity to the recreation complex, Aurora College, the new school, businesses, and offices.
The cost to design and construct the Centre is about $4.5 million.
**How many children and what ages will attend the Centre** - The Centre is designed for 120 children. Some of the children will attend the Centre for the entire day, while others may come for the “before and after school” programs. The new Centre will combine current participants from the Aboriginal Head Start, Inuvik Child Development Centre, Inuvik Preschool, and Tot Spot. The new Centre will also help relieve the long standing waiting list in the community for access to early child care.
**Why is it important to build a new Centre** - The new Centre is needed as the majority of the existing early child care and education facilities will be demolished with the elementary school when the new school is opened in 2012. For many years in Inuvik early child care and education facilities were located in older buildings that were not being used and were at the end of their useful life.
Early childhood research has shown that proper care and education of children in the early years pays huge dividends for the children in their later years. A good foundation in the early years will help establish good learning and behaviour patterns that will last them throughout their life.
Be a part of the Dream!!