Building Communities - Children's Circle Daycare Society
On January 24, Children’s Circle Daycare Society opened the doors to their newly-built childcare facility located at 1500- 9th Ave. ARPA Investments (ARPA) recently partnered with the Society to bring this project to life and help them create a more spacious early learning centre.
For the last 15 years, the Society operated two facilities in Kamloops: Children’s Circle Childcare Centre and St. Paul’s Early Learning Centre. Both facilities offered quality, licensed programs for children six months to five years old in the Downtown area. Tyson McNeil-Hay, Volunteer President of the Board, believes the new Centre will help overcome operational inconveniences and realize vast efficiencies.
“Having two centres created a challenge for administrative staff going back and forth from both locations,” said McNeil-Hay. “Merging two facilities will help reduce travel time for staff and cut operational costs because we’ve reduced things that were duplicated, such as kitchen space.”
At the start of the project, the Board of Directors found an initial location in Valleyview. In partnership with ARPA, the team orchestrated an exchange of properties with the City for a more strategic location. Several community engagement sessions were held to hear both concerns and opportunities of the Centre's new neighbours.
“As a not-for-profit, we needed a creative and unique plan for a project of this magnitude and ARPA's ability to think outside the box made this process feasible,” said McNeil-Hay. “Their experience and know-how helped us avoid any substantial unforeseen difficulties; and manage the surprises that did arise, such as the increase in material costs during construction.”
The staff sees a bright future ahead and looks forward to a new chapter, supporting 141 children and their families with safe and reliable childcare. Karyn Sutherland, Executive Director of the Children’s Circle Daycare Society, affirms the new facility will increase the quality of early learning opportunities.
“A larger purpose-build centre creates economies of scale that allow us to redirect critical dollars to educator mentoring, child-led programming, and resource support.”
The newly built Centre provides commercial laundry, cleaning closets on each floor, a spacious stand-alone kitchen with commercial grade appliances, a staff room, high-level security, and an outdoor play area with inspiring views. The overall design is informed by the needs of children and educators.
“Moving to the 9th Avenue Education Corridor is exciting for us,” said Sutherland. “It provides efficiencies for parents of elementary school-agers, collaborative opportunities for educators and a safe space for early learners to explore!”