Carol Frank and Iris Frank address questions about the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation's new children’s center. (Nora Martin photo)
As the Tlucha Children's Centre’s program coordinator and supervisor, Carol Frank has been busy visiting daycare centres in Port Alberni and Chemainus to gather information on operations. Frank also visited each community to fill out preregistration forms, and inform them of the services that will be available when Tlucha opens its doors for daycare and preschool services in October.
The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation received capital funding from Health Canada to help get the facility built, and the First Nation’s council also allocated some funding.
Construction of the new daycare started in May and is scheduled to be completed by September. The architect has met with the licensing officer from Island Health to ensure all requirements are in place.
The centre will be inspected by the licensing officer and granted a permit based on safety, space, fire protection and staff certification. The licensing officer makes yearly visits to the site to observe the workers, check the files and ensure everything is up to code. Carol Martin and Iris Frank are working on amending policies and procedures.
The Tlucha Children's Centre will be licensed to take up to 42 children, ages infant to 11.
Carol states that it is difficult to know exactly how many employees will be required as it will depend on enrolment. However, at least five employees and substitutes are set to begin working in the new Centre come October.
Registration will be open to the public if not all seats are taken by Tla-o-qui-aht members. Registration forms are available at Carol's office, the First Nation’s treaty office and the TFN website.
Parents who do not qualify for a child care subsidy are expected to pay a fee. Transportation to the daycare is the responsibility of the parents.
Aside from the preschool program the new centre will be providing a wide array of services such as language, culture, dental hygienist visits, pediatrician visits and parenting programs. Snacks and lunch will be provided.
Carol completed her early childhood education (ECE) training in 1999 and has worked in this field for 18 years. Through the licensing program Carol is also required to continuously complete 20 hours of training at least once a year. She’s currently taking a leadership course to improve her knowledge and skill base.
Carol would like to encourage men and woman to take the ECE nine-month training program that Iris Frank, TFN education manager, is working on setting up in the Tofino area and to call Iris for further information or to register at 250-725-3350 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org