The Town of Osoyoos announced that Friday that its child care expansion project is unable to proceed. (Imagination Station screengrab)

The Town of Osoyoos announced that Friday that its child care expansion project is unable to proceed. (Imagination Station screengrab)

‘We are disappointed’: Osoyoos’ child care expansion project unable to proceed

The town received an $892,500 grant for the project in June of 2019

The Town of Osoyoos announced on Friday that its planned child care expansion project is unable to proceed after they had received an $892,500 grant in June of 2019.

The grant was received from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities’ (UBCM) Community Child Care Space Creation Program with the goal of expanding to the town’s child care centre, as operated by the Osoyoos Child Care Centre Society.

With the money, the town had planned on adding an additional 3,200 square feet to the centre and had hoped to renovate the existing space with electrical upgrades and outdoor improvements.

The project was delayed when the town and the child care society applied for two additional grants for $3 million.

Both applications were denied in September of 2020.

“Those applications were unsuccessful for a variety of reasons including that they failed to provide documentation that supported community need linked to a community child care plan,” the town said in a statement released on Friday.

Among the other reasons the additional grants were denied include the failure to demonstrate the ability to create spaces that will help under-served populations.

As 2020 came a close and the new year arrived, the town pursued an extension on the project’s timeline. After a series of meetings with both the UBCM and the society, Osoyoos’ new deadline to complete the project became Nov. 1, 2022.

READ MORE: Province funding creation of more than 790 licensed child care spaces in south Okanagan

“It became obvious that the expansion plan described in the successful grant application was unachievable with available funds,” the statement continued. “The project scope was reduced to consist of an addition of 1,350 square feet (instead of 3,200), renovation of the existing space, energy efficiency and other system upgrades, outdoor and indoor improvements and capital purchases.

The town now has its eyes set on including child care funds for a financial plan that spans from 2022-2026, after conducting a council meeting regarding the situation on Nov. 23 of this year.

“We are disappointed that the project is unable to proceed but believe that the needs assessment and action plan will assist in determining community needs and delivering adequate and appropriate childcare for Osoyoos for the foreseeable future,” the statement reads.


@lgllockhart
logan.lockhart@pentictonwesternnews.com

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child care policyOkanaganOsoyoos