Minister Druhan says department willing to work with FRCC owners

Fall River Childcare center is closing Nov. 4, its owners announced. (Healey file photo)

FALL RIVER: The Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development said it is ready to work with the owners of Fall River Childcare Centre (FRCC) to find a solution to their issues.

That word comes a few days after owners Molly Young and Lindsay Awalt told families with children at the FRCC that they will be closing in early November due to government inaction and no support.

While Minister Druhan responded to other Halifax media the day after the news went out, it took several emails and then she responded a couple days later to us at The Laker News. The news of the FRCC closing was first reported by us via twitter after The Laker News was sent a statement by the owners.

“I appreciate the concerns of families and the owners but it’s important to remember that government wants more child care spaces, not less,” said Druhan.

“There are issues in child care, and they speak to the need to move to a quality system that is affordable, accessible and one that meets the needs of families, operators and ECEs.

“The change is long overdue, and our government is making it happen.”

She said she appreciate the concerns of families and the operators.

“It’s important to note that government is prepared to support families as they look to find alternative spaces for child care,” she said.

Druhan said if any family is having challenges finding a space, they can contact an Early Childhood Development Consultant at the Department by calling 902-424-3788 or emailing

“If families can’t find space, I want them to reach out to the Department,” said Druhan. “We will help families find spaces.”

She confirmed that Fall River is getting more child care spaces.

“The YMCA is committed to open a significant number of new spaces in the community,” she said. “This is good news.”

The YMCA child care centre is said to be opening in the lower part of Fall River, near Joyful Sounds Music. No exact date for opening was available.

MLA Brian Wong, who is also Minister of Advanced Education, also issued a statement on the situation, posting his on his Facebook page.

“I know there is a lot of questions and concerns regarding the closure of the Fall River Childcare Centre,” said Wong. “I have received so many messages and I have responded to all with as much information as possible but unfortunately do not have a direct answer to finish or follow up.”

He said its “frustrating and devastating “to hear the closure of the Fall River Childcare Centre – not only as a source of child care, but a local business.

“Molly and Lindsay are both amazing people and they are wonderful pillars of our community,” he said.

Wong said that he has been in contact with them numerous times over this difficult decision over the last year.

“As many have mentioned, it’s a widespread issue around the province.. and I do hear you,” said Wong.

He said he has been in conversation with many, including Minister Druhan, to try and get answers.

“I promise I’m just as frustrated as you are as a member of the community, a former teacher and a father,” said Wong.

“Once I know a definitive answer and solution, I will let you all know when I do. Your voices do not go unheard.”