Building Challenges

Finding a building to house a daycare center is not easy! There are a plethora of rules – square footage per child, green space per child, kitchen requirements, windows must be 20% of the wall space, etc.

Leasing is expensive – way more than we originally budgeted. We would end up paying $10,000/month for most buildings. Not including renovation costs.

Buying a building is almost impossible through traditional lenders. First, they want a 20% down payment (plus closing costs). They also want financials for the last 2 years of operating (which we don’t have because we are not set up yet).

There are (still) no spots available from the provincial government which means there are no grants – set up or ongoing. In other words, we need to have enough for renovations as well.

So where does that leave us? Fundraising. Or begging for someone to donate a building or financially back a building purchase and renovation.

As a side note, we have explored the following buildings to date:

  • (old) It’s A Blast building – no windows, no green space.
  • (old) Martin’s Dance School (church) – not enough windows or green space. Required extensive renovation – roof, for example. Cost was reasonable – $300,000.
  • Traveller’s Building – too expensive ($1.2 million) and no guarantee it was even usable.
  • Various buildings off MLS – usually not enough green space.

Back to fundraising…Darian Durant Canvas Print Raffle Tickets anyone?

The need for quality, licensed daycare

Regina daycare closed over non-payment of rent – indicating there are no grants for start-up or ongoing costs.  This is why Totally Kids Daycare Inc is fundraising…there is no funding available from the government.  We need to look outside the box to provide daycare.

Pilot Butte, Sask., woman charged with assaulting toddler at daycare – another non-licensed, home daycare where children are not safe…highlighting the need for more quality, licensed daycare centers.

More daycare spaces urgently needed

Our city has a shortage of quality, licensed daycare spaces.  Now, with more people migrating to Regina, the need is even greater!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/scramble-daycare-refugees-saskatchewan-1.3414434

Please consider supporting us by purchasing fundraiser tickets and/or donating!

 

New Year’s Update

Over the last few months, we have discovered more challenges that need to be overcome:

  1. There are currently no spots available for any daycares.  The Ministry of Education is in charge of the number of spots and there are none available to even set up a daycare.
  2. Grants and financing to help daycares set up are not accessible while these spots are not available.
  3. There is a LONG waiting list of organizations who want to set up daycares (which is really good news actually).  We are quite far down on this list.

Solutions:

  1. Continue fundraising so we are ready to set up when spots come available.  We have 2 fundraisers running right now:  50/50 tickets and Pancake Breakfast tickets.
  2. Explore other options to fund our daycare – corporate sponsorship, community organizations, grants from outside sources, etc.

Positives that have come over the last few months:

  1. We got a lottery license for our 50/50 tickets so we can sell across Saskatchewan and get a large pot for both the daycare and the winner.
  2. We are the 1500th breakfast fundraiser at Applebee’s so they will be matching ticket sales up to $1000.  They will also be doing a large media release around it.  We just have to fill the seats so buy your tickets now!
  3. IQMetrix matched ticket sales up to $500 for our rib night fundraiser (which wound up being $500).
  4. Private donors are starting to send in their tax-deductible donations.
  5. Silent auction donations are rolling in.

Whoop! Whoop!

Our deadline for CRA was extended by 30 days.  Whew.

We, finally, got our Articles of Incorporation amended – received via snail mail yesterday.  We have our Bylaws amended and certified.  And I finished the CRA charity registration form T2050, today, with the specific financial information.

It feels really good to have this done.  Faxing it into CRA tomorrow – well within our extension.  Whoop!  Whoop!

Here’s to hoping.

Challenges facing setting up a daycare

Over the past 6 or so months, we have discovered there are several challenges to setting up a daycare.  A quick recap follows.

I talked to two daycares in Regina and one in Balgonie.  This is the information I have garnered for daycare centers (not home daycares):

  • Spots are allocated by the provincial government – up to 300 per year for ALL of Saskatchewan.  You have to submit a Letter of Intent (referenced in a previous post) to even be considered for spots.  Spots are only allocated once a year (March/April).
  • You can’t get spots unless you have a building and are ready to go.
  • You can’t get spots unless you have an inspection of the building/premise.
  • Rent on buildings is crazy – thousands of dollars per month depending on the space or area.  We would need to have at least 2 months of  rent in the bank in order to have renovations and inspections done.  Before we get spots.
  • 75 spots is the minimum you want to try to get – in order to break even.  90 is the max you can have in one facility.  You can have more than 1 facility in a building.
  • Before and after care spots (for Grade 1 & up) do not count as “spots”.
  • Infant spots do not make money.  They do not even break even.  There are really strict rules surrounding infant spots.
  • There are very specific regulations around spots in general including how much space, green space, toilets, food prep, staff, etc.
  • A certain percentage of your staff has to have their ECE (Early Childhood Education).  Not very many people hold this or are pursuing it.  And anyone can raise a child or have a home daycare without this training.
  • We have to fundraise start up costs – around $15,000.  Or take a personal loan (which is not feasible).
  • We can’t get a business loan until the daycare has been running for 2 years minimum.
  • Purchasing a building?  Don’t even go there.  Even empty, abandoned buildings (that may not be structurally safe) are over $1 million.
  • The city will not donate or work with a daycare to re-purpose one of their buildings.  For example, one of the schools in North Central is not being used.  It’s listed for $3.2 million.  It would be perfect for a daycare but we can’t afford to purchase it.
  • There are very specific guidelines around using a 50/50 to fundraise.  If we could do a huge one (like Hospital Home Lottery does), we could get our fundraising done once a year.  Furthermore, we have to be established for 6 months before we can use a 50/50 (though it was not clear if we had to have the daycare set up or just the non-profit).
  • Applying for charity status is a long and drawn out process.  When we set up the non-profit, we didn’t know we had to include certain wording on our Articles of Incorporation.  We had to revamp these (and pay an extra cost to do so).  Would have been nice to know that when we first applied.
  • For profit daycares do not get access to any grants (in Saskatchewan).  In other provinces, they still have access to grants.

Needless to say, it may be a while before we get this daycare off the ground.  On the positive side, we are trying.  We are leading the way to, hopefully, make a new daycare in Regina.

Charity Application Update

We got a letter last month telling us we needed to change our Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. We also need to reword more areas of our application including our charity expenses. We are in the process of doing so.

This process is taking a very long time.

Charity Application reviewed

This week (February 10/2015), we received a call from CRA.  We have to resubmit the portion of our application pertaining to Political Action (apparently, writing a letter to my MLA to have them review The Daycare Act is considered political action and we did not declare this in our application).  We also have to revamp some wording on our home page.  Which I did today.