Childcare centre celebrates 20 years on Sept. 10

The Lee Wiggins Childcare Centre at York celebrates its 20th anniversary with an afternoon of festivities at The Underground restaurant Sept. 10.

An open invitation is extended to parents and children, staff and volunteers, supporters and well-wishers past and present to attend the celebration, scheduled from 1 to 5pm. Light refreshments will be served. RSVP to Lesley Powell at lpowell@yorku.ca by Aug. 10.

The Lee Wiggins Childcare Centre’s history begins in 1987, when student groups formed the York University Student Centre Childcare Committee (SCCC) to secure part-time, flexible childcare for The Lee Wiggins Childcare Centre in York's Student CentreYork students and part-time staff.

Right: The Lee Wiggins Childcare Centre in York’s Student Centre

Early support came from the Student Centre committee, which committed 1,000 square feet in its soon-to-be-built facility. That same year, union negotiations between CUEW/SCTTE (now the CUPE 3903) and York University resulted in capital support for 800 square feet. In negotiations two years later, the University agreed to $30,000 for start-up costs, an annual operating grant of $30,000 and yearly subsidies for union members. The operating grant and subsidies continue to this day.

In late 1988, the York University Student Centre Childcare was incorporated and in early 1990, a constitution and bylaws were approved. The Student Centre agreed to add 500 more square feet for the planned facility and waived the rent. The province covered construction costs.

Pending the completion of the Student Centre in the summer of 1991, the childcare centre launched as a drop-in program in an Assiniboine residence apartment. It moved into its current space as a licensed program in September of that year, and officially opened Oct. 30, 1991.

In 1999, the childcare centre was renamed in honour of Lee Wiggins, the driving force behind its creation and chair of its board of directors for its first eight years.