The Blackberry Lane Preschool is the only licensed childcare provider on Denman Island, serving the community for over 29 years. Photo supplied

The Blackberry Lane Preschool is the only licensed childcare provider on Denman Island, serving the community for over 29 years. Photo supplied

Help needed to put roof over Denman Island daycare

A new daycare/preschool building has broken ground on Denman Island, but the community needs help to fund the finishing touches.

Blackberry Lane (BBL) Childcare Centre is the only licensed childcare provider on Denman, serving the community for over 29 years. With the influx of new children, the daycare is breaking ground in a new, larger space. It’s hoping to raise money to add a metal roof. The community has helped pitch in $6,000.

In recent years, the number of small children living on Denman has increased dramatically. BBL has outgrown its space in the back of the Community Hall, which can only accommodate eight to 10 children per day.

Last year, the Blackberry Lane Preschool Society in partnership with the SD71 School Board, won a grant to build a new Early Childhood Centre. Set to be completed in February, the new space will offer more childcare to families on Denman Island. The centre will have separate rooms for younger and older children, allowing educators to create more age-appropriate programming. It will also have indoor and outdoor gross motor play areas.

The initial design for the new centre included several exciting features that are not in the final build contract due to costs. These include a second outdoor space on the back side of the building, which would provide a shaded play space in summer, outdoor play structures designed for preschool age kids, a bike pad, shrubs and trees, and a budget for interior equipment and furniture suited to the new space.

With COVID injecting many unknowns into building costs, the Preschool Society was recently asked to provide input into a decision to replace another desired building characteristic, a metal roof. The board said it would need an additional $15,000 to give the project a reasonable level of contingency funding.

The society is asking for support to help raise $25,000 to offset the costs of the metal roof, and to cover costs of equipment and infrastructure.

To help, visit https://gf.me/v/c/6x3v/blackberry-lane-childcare-centre-fundraiser

To donate on Denman directly, there is an envelope titled ‘Blackberry Lane Preschool Fundraiser’ at Abraxas Book Store & Cafe behind the desk. A donation jar is at the General Store. E Transfers can be made by email: thebblboard@gmail.com, which is set up for autodeposit. Go Fund Me donations will be withdrawn by Gloria Michin, BBL treasurer.

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