Over the next 10 years, Keremeos will need to add at least 40 new child care spots to the community, according to a joint study with the RDOS that will be presented to the village’s council on May 17.
Keremeos joined the study in November 2019.
Across the South Okanagan Similkameen, the study found the need for at least 1,100 new child care spaces total by 2031. In the region, 73 per cent of children were on a waitlist for over six months, and 42 per cent for over one year.
The study also found the cost of child care in the South Okanagan Similkameen is a key issue, particularly for families who are low income or single parents, with costs for children not yet in school ranging from $600 to $1,065 per month.
Keremeos has spaces for children aged three to five years old, but needs spaces for children under the age of three and children who are school-aged.
In addition to the existing 17 spaces in Keremeos, the community would need to add 10 spaces for children under three, and 30 for children of school age.
The recommendations from the report including establishing a child care action group and to have the RDOS work with its constituent communities, local First Nations, school districts and higher levels of government to support the child care sector.
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