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Universal childcare in Kelowna off to a good start

Kelowna’s Little Scholars seeing positive results from B.C government’s $10-a-day project

The Little Scholars child care centre which qualified for the B.C. government’s childcare prototype project is already seeing the positive results of the $10-a-day program.

Danielle Miranda, the general manager of childcare at YMCA Okanagan which runs the low-cost program, says families are already feeling the benefits.

“The families that were already involved with Little Scholars were overwhelmed by the news,” said Miranda. “Childcare is the second most expensive family cost annually, after mortgages, and families have already told me how this is helping them with savings, setting up RRSPs, and being able to worry less about being able to afford groceries and other family necessities.”

RELATED: Kelowna child care centre selected to deliver low-cost universal child care

Little Scholars is one of 53 B.C. childcare facilities and the only one in the Okanagan thus far that was approved for the pilot program. This project is funded through a $60-million investment as part of the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the Government of Canada. It complements the province’s $1-billion three-year investment through Childcare BC to move toward its long-term vision of affordable, accessible and quality childcare for any family that needs it.

“We committed to introduce affordable, accessible and quality child care for B.C. parents,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “This project is a step toward fulfilling our goal to bring universal childcare to B.C. and we’re excited to be working with organizations like the YMCA to make life better for families.”

When it comes down to providing for the community, Miranda said the YMCA knew they needed to apply for the government program, which also caps costs to no more than $200 a month.

“We wanted to be a part of this program to help Okanagan families, as well as B.C. families. Part of this contract with the government means that we send in all sorts of information back to B.C. so they will have information from all the child care facilities in the province from the YMCA to the private facilities. We’re hoping all this information will continue to help families, and possibly lead to more options for low-cost child care.”

RELATED: B.C. starting universal daycare pilot program

Little Scholars, which is located at Okanagan College, is currently full, as childcare facilities in B.C. usually are, but there is a waiting list. Call 250-491-8678 for details. The YMCA is also in the midst of opening another childcare centre in Pentiction for March.

“The costs of child care shouldn’t matter when it comes to choosing a reliable licensed child care provider,” said Miranda. “Families should not have to sacrifice options because of their financial situation. This pilot project means families can afford quality childcare. We’re hopeful and confident that this program will continue.”

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