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With operating grants frozen, Kiddie Korner seeks donations for food items, cleaning supplies

Flin Flon’s Kiddie Korner Daycare is holding a donation drive to help fill up the centre with essential items.
Kiddie Korner stox
A banner inside the Kiddie Korner Daycare.

Flin Flon’s Kiddie Korner Daycare is holding a donation drive to help fill up the centre with essential items.

The daycare is holding an annual food and supply drive to stock up the group for the rest of the year, aiming to get community help to overcome both increased expenses and stagnant funding levels from the province.

“As a non-profit organization, we rely heavily on grants and government funding to run many of our activities and programs and unfortunately, daycares in Manitoba have not received an increase in funding for over eight years,” said Kiddie Korner board member Crystal Assie.

“With the rising costs of food, activity supplies and cleaning supplies (especially since COVID-19), it has been particularly hard on our budget.”

While the Manitoba government has, like all other Canadian provinces, signed off on the federal plan to cap daycare costs at $10 a day for many families, operating grants for daycare centres like Kiddie Korner have not been increased since 2016. Calls for funding assistance from groups like the Manitoba Child Care Association (MCCA), along with petitions that have received thousands of signatures, have gone unanswered.

“The financial viability of these programs is in jeopardy if they cannot meet the fiscal responsibility of achieving a balanced budget as all operating expenses continue to increase,” reads an MCCA report.

“High quality licensed child care has a lasting positive impact on children’s development and is a fundamental need for Manitoba families and contributes to a strong economy.”

Money raised through the fundraiser will be used to run the daycare’s snack program, which provides a pair of snacks to each child every day, as well as an emergency breakfast and lunch program for kids who may show up to the centre in need of food.

“This fundraiser will allow us to continue offering healthy food options without taking away from other programs and activities,” said Assie.

The daycare runs a full-time centre for kids ages two to eight. There are 33 licenced positions for kids at Kiddie Korner - there’s currently a waitlist of over a hundred children.

For the fundraiser, daycare organizers and board members are looking for a wide array of household items - food items like flour and sugar, cereal like Rice Krispies or Cherrios, staples like applesauce, crackers and oatmeal and ingredients like graham crackers, pretzels and cream of tartar. Other items the centre is in need of include black garbage bags, scent-free laundry soap, toilet paper, paper towel and tissues, liquid hand soap and disinfectant wipes, storage bags and similar items.

Donations can be made by dropping off items to Kiddie Korner on Terrace Avenue (located in the same building as Ruth Betts Community School and the Flin Flon School Division office) from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday or by donating to Northland Ford on Highway 10A during their business hours.