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New Iqaluit community daycare scheduled to open in September

Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett, together with a variety of Nunavut and Iqaluit dignitaries, celebrated the completion July 8 of Iqaluit's newest daycare, which is tentatively set to open come September.

With a capacity for roughly 60 children, the daycare is the largest in the territory.

A ribbon cutting marks the completion of a new Iqaluit daycare July 8. Construction began a year ago. Front row, from left: Tundra Buddies Daycare Society co-president Jackie Price, Dan Sharpe, Senator Dennis Patterson, Caleb Little, Jennifer Kilabuk, Aurora Kilabuk-Little, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs (CIRNAC) Minister Carolyn Bennett, CIRNAC Nunavut Office Regional Director General David Rochette, elder Abigail Idlout, CIRNAC's Rachel Théoret-Gosselin, Alia Bigio and Lise Bachellier, Ivory Akoak Bachellier, artist Izalasie Kopalie, Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern, and Government of Nunavut Minister of Education David Joanasie. Back row, from left: CIRNAC's Lise Normand, Spencer Dewar and Lihua Huang.
photo courtesy Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs

"Children deserve a safe and healthy place where they can learn and grow. Congratulations to all involved in the vision and construction of this daycare. Improved access to child care will improve social well-being and the economic security of families in Iqaluit," stated Bennett.

The minister attended the ground-breaking almost one year earlier to the day, on July 10, 2018.

Not-for-profit Tundra Buddies Day Care Society will operate the facility, according to the Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada news release.

That federal department funded the design and construction of the $8 million daycare.

"Investing in early childhood development has significant and life-long benefits for children, families and their communities. The Tundra Buddies Daycare Society commends the Government of Canada for its efforts and contribution to the community of Iqaluit with this wonderful facility. We look forward to providing quality early learning and child care that embraces our languages, cultures and experiences," stated society co-presidents Jackie Price and Anna Fowler.

The lack of access to childcare in Iqaluit makes it challenging for local employers to attract Inuit into the active workforce, forcing parents to remain home with their children instead of pursuing an education or being available to work, according to the release.

Kudlik Construction Ltd. built the new daycare, while the design came via EVOQ Architecture Inc.

The facility is decorated with work of local artists.