OVER 3 000 CHILDREN are awaiting placement in day care centres across Barbados.This assertion came from Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Stephen Lashley, as he addressed a gathering of the Barbados Children’s Trust at Simpson Motors Auditorium yesterday.Speaking after a cheque for $100 000 was handed over to the trust to start refurbishment of the Ellerton Day-Care Centre and the Nightengale Home in Black Rock, Lashley said: “This comes at a time when we have a backlog of children waiting to be placed.“We have over 3 000 children at the last count needing placement in our centres, and any expansion to facilitate those children, particularly the ones who are in need of special care, would really go a long way in relation to the overall needs of Barbados,” he said.The minister promised that once the facilities were refurbished, Government would develop a full maintenance programme in light of the fact that some structures were not properly maintained.“One of the problems we have with our buildings is that we may construct buildings and refurbish buildings, but we do not maintain the buildings in the manner they should be. This is an assurance . . . that these buildings will be maintained,” he said.President of the trust, Cecil Decaires, said they had been working to enhance the lives of children across Barbados for the past 13 years and expressed pride in partnering with the Child Care Board in this major project.Work on the total refurbishment of Ellerton Day Care Centre is expected to start next week, while a complete upgrade of the residential care facilities at Nightengale will start later this year. The work will be done in phases and is expected to cost more than $1 million.Phase 1 will be a purpose-built state-of-the-art facility for special needs children in care; Phase 2 will be the total refurbishment of three existing cottages on site, and in the longer term it is hoped that there will be improvement on the outside that will see a playground being added with benches and a kitchen garden.