Kelowna families will benefit from $25 million in grants that will add 273 new childcare spaces throughout the city.
The spaces are being added to three new recreation facilities planned for Glenmore, Mission, and the redevelopment of Parkinson Recreation Centre (PRC).
Each facility will receive 91 childcare spaces.
Mayor Tom Dyas made the announcement during a media event at Glenmore Recreation Park on Dec. 6, next to where one of the new facilities will begin construction next year.
“We were made aware by the community how important it is that we put an effort to bring new childcare spaces to this community,” said Mayor Tom Dyas.
The money is coming from the ChildCare BC New Space Fund which combines provincial investments and funding from the federal government.
The announcement comes just weeks after the YMCA Childcare Centre opened at Kelowna International Airport, which provided 86 spaces thanks to a $3.8 million investment from the province.
“We’ll continue to advocate and work to try and bring more to the community because I’m certain that it could be 1,350 or almost 3,000 that is truly needed,” Dyas added.
Kelowna Childhood Connections board member Betty Cleland noted that the organization receives 400 to 600 calls a month from families seeking childcare.
“Unfortunately not all of these families will find suitable childcare space within this city.”
Cleland said the announcement was great news.
“When these centres open their doors it will be even a better day for families who have been facing significant challenges finding suitable childcare that works.”
The 273 new spaces will include 36 spots for children under 36 months, 75 spaces for children 30 months to school age, and 162 spaces for school-age children.
Combined, the four projects (Glenmore, Mission, PRC, YMCA) are providing approximately 350 spaces with nearly $29 million of investment.