Support continues to pour in for the capital building project of Kiddie Sunshine Daycare in Altona.

Red River Mutual and Elmer's Manufacturing have each donated $500,000 to the local childcare facility as it works to provide a larger space and to meet the needs of the growing community for increased access to early childhood education.

"This is a project that checks all the boxes for supporting and creating an impact in a positive way in our community," says Garth Reimer, Red River Mutual Board Chair. "We are honoured to work with the Kiddie Sunshine Centre and other community business partners to make a lasting investment in improving the access to quality and affordable childcare in the community."

In presenting a cheque to the Centre, Elmer’s Manufacturing President and CEO Mike Friesen President expressed his gratitude to Centre staff, the board, expansion committee and other supporters in the community for their hard work bringing this dream to reality.

"We are proud to have the opportunity to support a community initiative such as the Kiddie Sunshine Centre expansion as it represents a big step in addressing a gap we've had in the community for many years."

This project will add an additional 138 individual care giving spaces to the community. This includes an additional 118 daycare spaces, before and after school care, plus 20 nursery school spots to the existing 69 spaces currently managed. 

"We are so grateful for the incredible support and continued investment that Red River Mutual is making towards the Kiddie Sunshine Centre," says Laura Wiebe, Kiddie Sunshine Centre Board Chair. "From the beginning they have been an advocate and champion of early childhood education in the community and our vision for the future."

The release making the announcement notes that currently, less than 4.2% of children in the community of Altona have access to childcare, this is behind the Manitoba average of 17.6% and Canadian expert recommendation of 50%. This shortage is negatively impacting the community through lengthy waitlists and a decreased ability to attract and retain people in the area, as they can’t find childcare to work within the region.

"Red River Mutual supports resilient communities, and a resilient community is not only supported by its infrastructure, but also by the people and families who live and work there," says Red River Mutual CEO, Brenda Gibson. "Helping to strengthen our communities is a key motivator for our Red River Mutual team and as we grow it will continue to be an essential part of our purpose, vison and values."

The new daycare is to be built within provincial government guidelines and requirements, with MCM Architects as the project manager and build partner. 

The new facility will consist of a 10,800 square foot one level building that is estimated to cost over six million dollars.

The project will begin this summer and is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2024.