Lee Wiggins Childcare Centre
The York University Childcare Committee (SCCC) began meeting in August 1987 as an initiative of various student groups interested in securing part-time, flexible childcare for York students and part-time workers, as well as providing some form of support and resources for parents and children. Early support came from the Student Centre Committee with a commitment of a 1000 sq. ft. childcare facility in the soon to be constructed Student Centre. CUEW/SCTTE Local 3 also agreed to use the upcoming Collective Bargaining process for 1987-89 to help obtain space and financing for the SCCC project. On November 2, 1987, negotiations with York University administration resulted in a contribution for research costs and for first year start-up costs. Later negotiations resulted in financial support for 800 sq. ft. of space in the soon to be built Student Centre.
Research indicated that the 1000 square feet plus the possible addition of 800 square feet was insufficient, so SCCC returned to negotiations with both the administration and the Student Centre in hopes of obtaining the additional space. As a result of this negotiations process, the Student Centre generously added 500 square feet to their initial pledge of space. (Note: all space committed to the SCCC by the Student Centre is rent free and inclusive of occupancy costs). As a result, the project went ahead with a total space commitment of approximately 2,300 sq.ft. Discussions with the Ministry of Community and Social Services in 1989 culminated in a commitment of Minor Capital Costs for construction costs as well. The SCCC continued to meet on a regular basis, developing a Constitution and Bylaws, assisting in designing the facility, liaising with Ministry fieldworkers, and developing initial drafts of programmes and budgets. The Committee applied for incorporation and received Letters Patent on December 13, 1988 under the name THE YORK UNIVERSITY STUDENT CENTRE CHILDCARE. Final development of a Constitution and Bylaws began soon after the Committee's inception, and was approved on February 9, 1990.
During the summer of 1989, the SCCC again worked with CUEW/SCTTE (now CUPE 3903) to prepare a follow-up proposal for the upcoming round of contract negotiations with the university administration. At the conclusion of the negotiations, CUEW on behalf of the SCCC received a one time total of $30,000 for start-up costs, as well as a $30,000 annual operating grant contribution and a yearly contribution for subsidies for members of CUEW/SCTTE (Collective Agreement 1989 - 91). This operating grant and subsidy allotment funding has been ongoing thanks to CUPE 3903. The SCCC offered a small scale drop-in programme in the summer of 1991 in an apartment in one of the Assiniboine Residences, since the Student Centre building itself was not yet complete. The Centre itself started operation in September, 1991 as a licensed programme. An official opening ceremony was held on October 30, 1991.
Name Change Of The Childcare Centre
In the fall of 1999, our former Chair of the Board of Directors, Lee Wiggins, left the Centre to pursue her teaching career. Lee was instrumental in the creation of the Centre and followed through for 5 years until the dream became a reality in 1991. As if that was not enough, Lee continued to sit as Chair of the Board of Directors for over 8 years. Over the years, Lee contributed her time, expertise, and commitment to parents, staff, and children alike. Due to this on-going dedication, we decided to acknowledge Lee by renaming the Centre in her honour. The new name is "The Lee Wiggins Childcare Centre at York University."