Province giving three Kelowna groups money for more child-care spaces

Victoria is providing $989,000 to create 205 more child-care spaces in the city.

The province is giving three Kelowna organizations a total of $989

The province is celebrating Child Care Month in B.C., by giving three Kelowna organizations a total of  $989,000  to create 205 new licensed child care spaces in the city.

The money is coming through the B.C. Early Years Strategy and will go to the YMCA of Okanagan Child Care Centre in Kelowna ($500,000 for 67 spaces), Building Blocks Educational Childcare Ltd. in Kelowna ($150,143 for 68 spaces) and The Clubhouse Child Care Centre in Kelowna ($338,531 for 70 spaces)

“The YMCA of Okanagan is grateful to the province for helping to fund its new Child Care Centre in Kelowna,” said Allyson Graf, general manager of strategic and community initiatives with the YMCA of Okanagan.

“As a charity, we are excited to provide more Kelowna families with increased access to our innovative Playing to Learn curriculum, regardless of their ability to pay the full cost.”

In November 2015, the province encouraged child care providers to apply for the third phase of major capital funding to create new licensed child-care spaces throughout B.C. These new spaces are part of government’s commitment to support the creation of 13,000 new spaces by 2020.

Non-profit child care providers applied for up to $500,000, while private child care providers could apply for up to $250,000. Priority was given to applications to create child care spaces in underserved areas of B.C. and on school grounds, where children can smoothly transition from early years programs, to the classroom, to after-school care.

This investment marks the third phase of child care major capital funding, and will allow child care providers to:

• Build a new child care facility, including the cost of buying land or a building.

• Purchase and assemble a modular building and develop a site.

• Renovate an existing building.

• Buy eligible equipment (including playground equipment) and furnishings as part of the above activities to support new child-care spaces in an existing facility.

The province is now in the process of working with child care providers to sign project agreements that include the specific requirements that providers have identified for each site, such as the need to lease or buy property, obtain local zoning permits and hire contractors to renovate the sites.

The B.C. Early Years Strategy is an eight-year government commitment to improve the accessibility, affordability and quality of early-years programs and services for families with young children.