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Non-profit group hopes to raise $1M for NorQuest day care

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Sands, Andrea
Publication Date: 
6 Jun 2013



Supporters of NorQuest College hope to raise $1 million to build a centre that will add much-needed child-care spaces downtown, provide lower-cost child care for NorQuest students and help train students registered in NorQuest's day home provider program.

A non-profit group connected to NorQuest College called 1000 Women: A Million Possibilities is working to raise $750,000 in capital funding to build the centre plus $250,000 to subsidize child-care spots for eligible NorQuest students, said Patty Taverner, chair of the 1000 Women advisory committee.

Eighty per cent of NorQuest's students are women, according to the school's website. The new centre will give NorQuest students access to quality child care that is convenient and affordable, Taverner said.

"Without it, they're not going to school," she said.

"A lot of these students, they're living in apartments. They're barely getting by ... It's to make sure we reach as many of those people as possible."

One NorQuest student who is a mother of three takes the bus to get her kids to child care then takes another bus to get to class, Taverner said. "She said it's difficult. It takes the focus away from her studies."

A fundraising event Wednesday at the Edmonton Expo Centre raised $197,000 for the new centre.

NorQuest College serves about 8,500 students each year at campuses around Edmonton and in other communities. The college plans to consolidate six Edmonton campuses at a new North Learning Centre building, opening around 2017. The five-storey building will be connected to NorQuest's existing building at 10215 108 St. and will include the new 1000 Women Child Care Centre.

The 4,850-square-foot centre is planned to accommodate 56 children and include two toddler rooms, two preschool rooms and a secure outdoor play area.

Staff and students will have access to the centre, which will also reserve spaces for the public.

"There is a shortage of daycare facilities, so this would really help the downtown and people working downtown as well."

-reprinted from the Edmonton Journal