Busy Bee will soon be moving to the former playschool building on the Routhier School grounds in upcoming months.Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Busy Bee Daycare in Falher has found a new hive to call home, with the move date yet to be determined.

Smoky River Childcare Society President Amanda Vanden Bosch says the daycare will be moving to the former playschool building on the Routhier School grounds in upcoming months. The daycare is currently located on Main Steet right next to Red Apple.

“There were a couple reasons for the desire to move,” says Vanden Bosch. “We realized early on that we had outgrown the space on main street, it was tight in there when you consider the 22 children, and the six to eight staff present on any given day.”

She says the move was partially inspired by the continually high demand for childcare in the region.

“We have been operating with a waitlist that is double our maximum number of licensed childcare spaces since the day we opened, and this will continue to be true once we move to the new location,” explains Vanden Bosch.

Francis Lavoie enjoys his time on the slide. Busy Bee is able to take care of 22 children, but with the move they will be able to almost double the number.

“The daycare is a much-needed service for our community, and we are aiming to accommodate need as much as possible,” she adds.

The move date has not been officially set, but there is a plethora of work for the society to do to get it ready to transition. They are awaiting some licensing evaluations and final checks before they can move the children to the new space.

The move has been in the works for quite some time, and the society had formulated a subcommittee to devote time to finding a new space for the children.

“It is already set up with much larger rooms which are segregated for age-appropriate programming, child-appropriately sized restrooms, office space for the directors and a large, fenced area for outdoor play which will allow the children and staff some much needed space,” she explains.

“We can also provide additional play space during the summer at the Routhier play structures when school is not in session. This location will also afford us the opportunity to provide childcare for additional families as we will now be able to accommodate up to about 40 children.”

Busy Bee Daycare will soon be celebrating its two-year anniversary in the community, its first operational date was July 26, 2021. Vanden Bosch says the daycare is a vital part of the community, and even with its existence there is still a serious shortage of childcare in the region.

(Red shirt to the right): Mary Grace Feeney, Everett Gagnon, Annistyn Brochu and Brooke Brochu paint as part of activities at the Busy Bee Daycare.

“As the parent of a tiny human, (I recognize) we need childcare in the area so that we adults can continue to work and provide other services to the community,” she says.

“Without childcare the tendency will be to look outside our community for work to have the convenience of close childcare, which in turn affects all the businesses in our area as it will drive business, prospective employees, and contributions out of our area. We need to provide this crucial service to entire people here and show them what Smoky River Region has to offer.”

By Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 01, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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