The province is supporting 12 projects that will see more than 790 new licensed child care spaces created in several south Okanagan communities.
There are a total of 794.5 new licensed child care spaces scheduled to open: 567 in Kelowna, 95.5 in Penticton, 92 in West Kelowna, 24 in Osoyoos and 16 in Hedley. More than 100 are expected to be open by the fall.
“As we enter the fourth year of our 10-year Childcare BC plan, thousands of families are already feeling the life-changing impact of having affordable, quality and inclusive child care,” said Katrina Chen, the minister of state for child care.
Included in the fleet is a standalone child care centre constructed by the Penticton Indian Band, which will feature programming that incorporates lessons from Elders and cultural knowledge keepers. With the goal of language revitalization, the program will also include Syilx Okanagan curriculum and n’syilxcn language immersion.
“Penticton Indian Band is excited to be one of the successful recipients of the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to construct a new daycare in the Penticton Indian Band community,” said Kathy Pierre, the education director of the Penticton Indian Band.
The facility, which is expected to open in April 2023, will have accessible washrooms and push-button entrances, and will also create 87 new licensed child care spaces. Included are 24 spaces for infants and toddlers, 17 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten, 36 spaces for school-aged children and 10 preschool spaces.
“The daycare is a welcomed opportunity to provide quality child care for families in the Penticton area and will be open to anyone looking for affordable and reliable daycare,” said Pierre.
Since July 2018, the province has funded nearly 26,000 new licensed child care spaces since the launch of Childcare BC, which includes 824 in Kelowna, 31 in Osoyoss/Oliver, 197 in Penticton and 323 in West Kelowna.