The new daycare in Kleefeld has launched a fundraiser as it prepares to start furnishing the centre.

Heather Romain is Executive Director of Happy Hive Child Care Centre. She explains that they are currently hosting an online 50/50 raffle to raise money for start-up costs. 

Happy Hive Child Care Centre is a 104-space facility. This will include 80 preschool spaces and 24 infant spaces. There will be a total of eight learning classrooms. 

Romain says each classroom is projected to cost between $10,000 and $15,000 to furnish, stock and get ready for children to use. She notes Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care offers licensing startup grants and operating grants.

"However, Early Learning and Child Care also suggests that you plan to spend two to three times the amount that they allot for centres to receive," notes Romain. "Which is why we are fundraising."

According to Romain, they have set an overall goal of raising approximately $200,000. She notes they would also use some of this for outdoor play areas.

"Our short-term goal is we're just looking to get the inside done," says Romain. "Our long-term goal is to be able to furnish all eight rooms and get the outside done as well."

She says the long-term plan is to build a beautiful infant play space and preschool play space outdoors. 

Romain says they do not have a timeline for raising the $200,000. She notes they have been told to expect handover of the centre sometime in late summer or early fall. Romain says there will then be a period between receiving the centre and when it officially opens. One of the factors in how quickly they can have a soft opening is how long it takes them to raise enough money to begin furnishing. 

"We do anticipate there will be a gap in that sense of when we take over the centre and when we're able to bring children in," she says. "And a lot of that is building furniture, stocking our rooms, getting our staff organized, things like that."

Romain states they will not be opening all 104 spaces at the same time. 

"If our fundraisers do super well and we're able to get our rooms ready, get our staff prepped, that will mean we can open more spaces potentially a little bit sooner," she says. 

However, Romain says it may be a year before they can get to full capacity, and it might only be next year when they can build the playground they want. 

Romain says their online 50/50 raffle fundraiser will run for another three weeks. The draw is on June 13th. Tickets cost $5 for one ticket, $10 for three tickets, $25 for 10 tickets, $50 for 50 tickets and $100 for 200 tickets. Romain says though their overall fundraising goal for the new centre is $200,000, there is no set goal for how much they would like to raise through the raffle. 

Meanwhile, she says it appears the community is very excited about the opening of Happy Hive Child Care Centre, noting in recent months they have been receiving a lot of donations of used toys and materials from families.