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Prince Albert
Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Home City Council City council approves application to develop new childcare centre

City council approves application to develop new childcare centre

City council approves application to develop new childcare centre
Prince Albert City Hall (Herald File Photo)

An application to develop a new childcare centre in the former Lucy Baker School was approved by City Council during Monday’s meeting. 

On April 1, the Department of Planning and Development Services received a Discretionary Use Development Permit application to establish a childcare centre at 215 12th Street West. Multiple commercial and residential land uses have been associated with the property since it was built in 1986, but it was best known as the home to the Lucy Baker School in 1991. Most recently, it was used as a residential dwelling. 

The childcare centre will provide accommodation for up to 20 children between the ages of 18 months and 12 years old. Staffing will be based on provincial regulations and determined by the Early Years Branch of the Ministry of Education. 

Although there are 20 daycare spaces, Planning and Development Director Craig Guidinger said that does not necessarily mean there will be 20 children attending the centre.

“An infant is worth four spaces, a toddler is worth two spaces, someone over three years old is worth one space,” Guidinger explained. “It could be as little as four infants or it could be as many as 20 children. That is up to the agency responsible, along with the ministry, to determine those childcare spaces.

“They don’t know, to be perfectly frank, how many children they’re going to be looking at. There’s a supply-demand issue that needs to be considered, and they’ll be working closely with the province.”

Some members of council expressed their concern over street parking availability once the childcare centre is up and running. The property contains a small parking lot which will be available to staff, but Councillor Ogrodnick assured that there will be more than enough street parking for everyone including parents doing drop-off and residents who live in the area.

“I don’t think parking is going to be a huge problem,” Ogrodnick said. “Part of my job required me to go there several times and I never ever had a problem parking on the street.”

The development permit was approved unanimously by Council. The applicant will proceed with purchasing the property and continue working closely with the Building Division and Fire Department to complete the required permits and inspections.