Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy announced 3,800 new childcare spaces across B.C. at a press conference in Vancouver Monday. —Image: Katya Slepian/Black Press

Kelowna to get 103 more childcare spaces

Four groups to share $928,000 in provincial funds

Four Kelowna organizations will directly benefit from the province’s announcement earlier this week that it will spend $33 million over the next two years to create 3,800 more childcare space across B.C.

Creative Advantage Childcare, the First Lutheran Church, Luann Early Education, and Okanagan Montessori Elementary School will share $928,000 of the funding to create a 132 new spaces in the city. In addition, 50 new spaces are being created in Lake Country at New Beginnings Early Learning Centre.

Children and Family Development Minister Katrine Conroy made the announcement of the provincial funding in Vancouver Monday, saying the new spaces would be split among 52 communities.

“This money will create 900 new childcare spaces for infants and toddlers,” said Conroy. “This announcement will be providing over 500 licensed childcare spaces for Indigenous kids.”

Related story: Affordable daycare left out of NDP budget disappoints advocate

The province will focus on creating 1,153 spaces on school grounds, co-locating them in community hubs and will work to ensure they are inclusive for children with disabilities.

Of the 103 new projects, 61 will be new buildings and 42 will be housed in renovated spaces.

Conroy deferred to the government’s upcoming February budget when asked how much it would cost for parents to send their kids to the new daycares, or when parents could expect to see $10-a-day childcare, a promise by the NDP during last May’s provincial election campaign.

Minister of State for Children Katrina Chen couldn’t say how many parents would still be waitlisted for childcare after the 3,800 new spaces were created.

“We don’t have a system in the province… it’s not like health care. So we need a system so we can get that (waitlist) done,” said Conroy.

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