A local business and a grassroots committee have teamed up to establish a daycare in the community of Rosenort.
Rosenort Credit Union has purchased the old fire hall in town, taking possession of the building earlier this week. The RCU Board of Directors plans to lease the building to a local group that is working to create a 25 to 30 spot childcare facility.
Brad Penner, Chief Executive Officer for Rosenort Credit Union, says a lack of daycare has affected RCU for many years with staff not returning to work after paternal leave because they have nowhere to bring their kids.
"We've cycled (through) a few staff in the number of years that I've been there...about ten years now, and we've seen our whole front-line, a few of our Member Service (representatives), and staff from a few other departments leave. Some come back but only after their kids are in school," he said.
The RCU board did look at establishing a daycare in the basement of the credit union a few years ago, but Penner explained the plan wasn't possible because that level doesn't have any windows. When it was discovered that a group of local parents had formed an action committee of sorts, Penner says the RCU board offered to help provide a building by purchasing the old fire hall.
Local moms Ashley Olynick and Jenn Rzesnoski are helping to lead the charge in creating the daycare. The pair say they had to travel out of town in order to find childcare while they went to work.
"We just really wanted a place in town for safe childcare for our children, but then also to give other families in town the opportunity," said Olynick.
Plans to transform the fire hall are already being worked on. Olynick and Rzesnoski say fundraising to pay for the project is next on the committee's radar.
Ralph Groening, Reeve for the R.M. of Morris, is excited about this project, something he says has been discussed in the community for some time.
"I believe that Council's opinion, and I think the opinion of the community and the business leaders, is that yes it has been a handicap for us. I think that we've made some progress in dealing with that challenge in this community."
The hope is to have the daycare up and running by Fall 2019.