I do have to give credit to this Assembly, all of our Members. The implementation of junior kindergarten has provided free childcare spaces, free early childhood development programming to all four-year-olds throughout the Northwest Territories. Over 500 children are taking advantage of this currently. That is only a start. I know we still have zero to three to do. It is not only about spaces. Every community is different. That is what is really important to notice. Smaller communities, when they only have three or four kids who might need daycare, does it make sense to have a full centre? Does it make more sense to have a family day home, jobs in communities? Those are things we need to look at with that.
I also have to put it back on the Members in some ways and myself included. When we came into this Assembly three and half years ago, we defined mandates, we prioritized, and we said what we wanted. For the last three and a half years, we have been saying what we need, where are we going with this. It is only within these last few months that I have actually heard about the drastic need in this community, in Yellowknife, for infrastructure to do that. It is almost too late. We have already passed our final capital budget months ago.
I want to think out of the box, as well. That is what I am doing. Do these have to be licensed daycare centres that are standalone as the normal model, or, if you think within an Indigenous spirit -- granted that I am Metis and represent both cultures. Within Aboriginal people, we always say education was the downside of us. They took our children away, and they stole our culture. Yet, Indigenous people are saying education is the key to regaining that culture.
I have already been talking with schools. I have already been talking with my department, saying, "Can we make schools the hubs of communities?" If our people are afraid of education, afraid of school systems, they are not going to bring their children there. Can we make a hub? We are trying to work with Health and Social Services. Together, can we bring the services so that children can go to the school? There is a daycare centre there. They can come for speech pathology. I haven't even talked to the Health Minister, so I am throwing things out there. Can it become a hub? Is the only model a standalone daycare, or is another model we need to look at making it a hub of communities. Those are questions we need to ask. I haven't got the answers yet, but it is part of the strategic plan that I will be bringing forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.