A new daycare and Early Childhood Education (ECE) research facility is in the works for TRU and is slated to be completed in 2021.
The new facility will host the existing daycare on campus, the ECE program, as well as a new research facility that will serve as a one-stop-shop for the Early Childhood Education program on TRU’s campus.
“This project is about co-locating some remarkable units that we already have operating at TRU within the area of Early Childhood Education and early years, and that includes the TRU Early Childhood Teacher Education program, our researchers in early childhood education, the children and the law laboratory, which is a Canada research chair, some work is done by some psychologists in the faculty of arts and children and early years, and the award-winning Cariboo Childcare Centre,” Airini, Dean of Faculty of Education and Social Work said.
Airini said that the ultimate goal of the new centre is to “create a hub or making an extraordinary vision for early years in the region come true.”
The new facility will be located on McGill Road, behind the Animal Health Technology Building, as TRU’s campus is expanding to the west. Due to the location, a new entrance onto the TRU campus will be added to the area as well.
Airini said, “it will be located on the McGill Roadside, formally home to Majestic Ginseng Products, and it’s contingent on a rezoning application that will go to a public hearing.”
The goal of the facility is to be completed by 2021, hopefully, earlier in the year.
This new facility will add to the growth of the campus and will be the first of its kind in Canada, where research, education and childcare will all be in one location and operate together.
The centre will also include indoor and outdoor learning spaces and be as eco-friendly as possible, according to Airini.
“It’s in our vision statement to be community-minded with a global conscience and that we boldly redefine the university as a place of belonging,” Airini said. “These have been operating apart and we’re saying how much more could we achieve by being together.”
Airini added that, “it is taking seriously the word centre and that we would like to see ourselves being a service to our community by providing the centre for supporting our children to grow up in the very best possible ways in the very best possible place in Canada.”
This development is a part of TRU’s 30-year development plan, which is how the university is able to fund the project.
“As any prudent university would do, you set aside savings overtime to make this kind of initiative possible, within this big plan of growing to be that university that was envisaged 20 years ago,” Airini said.
Currently, TRU is waiting on the public hearing to decide if the rezoning of the original building will pass, and then will work to fine-tune the project.
Airini said, “this is an exceptionally exciting time to consider early childhood education as a career.”