New licensed childcare spaces have been created for families in Penticton and Naramata.
The B.C. government is investing more than $1.14 million under the B.C. Early Years Strategy to create 121 new licensed childcare spaces at Queen’s Park Elementary School, Okanagan College and the Naramata Child Development Centre.
“I’m excited that this funding opens the door for so many families looking for quality childcare,” Penticton MLA Dan Ashton said. “The early childhood years are vital for developing social and emotional skills, and I know these three great organizations will provide a huge boost to local children and families.”
The YMCA of Okanagan is receiving $500,000 to fund 37 spaces at Queens Park Elementary School. These spaces include 25 group childcare spaces for infants and toddlers up to 36 months of age; and 12 group childcare spaces for children ages three to five.
Okanagan College is receiving $500,000 to fund 64 spaces at the Penticton and District Community Resource Society. The spaces are for school-age children in a group setting outside school hours and on non-school days.
Naramata Playschool Society is receiving $140, 813.35 to fund 20 spaces at the Naramata Child Development Centre. The spaces are for group childcare for children ages three to five.
In November 2015, the B.C. government encouraged childcare providers to apply for the third phase of major capital funding to create new licensed childcare spaces throughout B.C. These new spaces are part of government’s commitment to support the creation of 13,000 new spaces by 2020.
The B.C. government is now working with childcare providers to sign project agreements that include the specific requirements that providers have identified for each site, such as the need to lease or buy property, obtain local zoning permits and hire contractors to renovate the sites.
The B.C. Early Years Strategy is an eight-year government commitment to improve the accessibility, affordability and quality of early-years programs and services for families with young children.