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The general contractor for the renovation to the David and Ruth Asper Early Learning Centre was Westland Construction. Fabris and Watts was the tile contractor, Wes-man mechanical was the mechanical contractor, LD lighting was the electrical contractor, and Amalgamated Drywall did the drywall.

Chen Daniel with her daughter Emma Stepansky

Rady JCC Opens New David and Ruth Asper Early Learning Centre-Mazel Tov!

by Rhonda Spivak, Sept 27, 2016

The Rady JCC’s new David & Ruth Asper Early Learning Centre opened on July 13 on Grosvenor Avenue—and is celebrating a successful first month of operations.

 “Nothing is more important to the community than our children, and this allows us to better provide child care to families who need it,” Rady JCC President Elliott Garfinkel says. “We are very happy that we will now be able to provide care for another 48 children in our community.”

Rady JCC’s Kaufman Child Care (located inside the Rady JCC at 123 Doncaster Street) has a significant wait list of families looking for child care services, which has presented challenges for the staff and Board of Directors looking to address the backlog.The 48 spaces in the new facility were filled from the existing wait list.

“The interest and popularity is a testament to the programming provided, and that’s great to see, but we want to provide more families with access to our child care services and the opening of a second location is a very positive step,” Rady JCC Executive Director, Gayle Waxman, says. "Four spaces are for children who are 18 months old and the rest are for children who are 2 years old to 5 years old, although we are focusing on children from 2 years to 4 years old," she says.

The Rady JCC's early learning and child care programs are open to all, not only members of the Jewish community. In answer to a question from the Winnipeg Jewish Review, Waxman indicated , however, that "We estimate that between 90%-95% of families in our programs identify as Jewish."

The newly opened David and Ruth Asper Early Learning Centre on Grosvenor, which was designed by Architecture 49 and constructed by Westland Construction  has a state of the art design, and includes 3 rooms ( with 16 children occupying each room). The children are  grouped by age into 3 classes:  18 months-2 years, 2-3 years and 3 years and up. The new Centre has a full kitchen, an office, a small staff room, storage and laundry, and is beautifully designed to create a positive learning environment where children feel at home. There is a fenced, outdoor area which includes a sand-pit with natural play area, and a state of the art security system.

Waxman notes that " Our early learning/child care programs offer high quality early learning opportunities that promote Jewish values, facilitate the learning about Jewish culture and traditions and promote a strong Jewish identity.  That said, our approach in general is designed to foster healthy child development based on current best practices for promoting healthy child development.  In addition to meeting or exceeding all child care standards set by the province of Manitoba, we also offer Sheva - an early learning program developed by the JCCA that integrates the best in early childhood education practices with a strong Jewish life curriculum."

Waxman also indicated that the project’s fundraising campaign has so far raised $1.285M, and is in its final stages. In addition to private donors, the project received a contribution from the provincial government and recent grant from Community Places.

Waxman added that "We are fortunate to have a Board of Directors that was willing to take measured risks and to have supporters in the community, like David and Ruth Asper, Marvin Peters, Marjorie Blankstein, Debbie Gray, Sara Gray, Nora and Harry Warren,and Tova and Larry Vickar who understood the importance of this project to the future of the community."

The Jewish Foundation of Manitoba also provided the Rady JCC  with a capital grant of $40,000.

Waxman said that the Rady JCC is hopeful " that we will receive the support of a few more community-minded people to help us complete our campaign."

Waxman indicated that  the  feedback from the families using the new centre has been very p

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.