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Education

Applications open for fund that will expand NWT childcare spaces


Applications are now being accepted for a $1-million NWT government fund designed to help communities increase their number of available childcare spaces.

The Early Childhood Infrastructure Fund, administered by the territorial government, gives non-profits and Indigenous governments money for repairs or retrofits that preserve, expand, or create childcare spaces across the territory.

In their proposals, applicants need to describe the project, demonstrate a need for it, and identify how they will also contribute financially.

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They must include estimates from contractors for the work, financial statements, letters of support, documents showing they own or rent the space, and an inspection report from the fire marshal’s office.

The proposal deadline is December 10 at 5pm.

The territorial government said in a news release a lack of infrastructure is “a significant barrier” to developing licensed, centre-based early learning programming.

It can be difficult to find an existing building that meets requirements and renovations to bring buildings up to the required standard can be expensive, the territory said.

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“We recognize that quality early learning and childcare programs play an important role in promoting the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of young children and can support positive lifelong benefits,” education minister RJ Simpson was quoted as saying.

In the first two years of the program, the GNWT says it funded nine projects.

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