A new child care centre in West Kelowna will soon provide local families with quality licensed child care spaces.
This new centre will allow parents the flexibility to return to work, further their education or pursue new opportunies.
The Province is investing $250,000 through its Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to support KinderHeart Montessori to create 76 licensed child care spaces. These new spaces will include 24 for infants and toddlers, 32 for children aged three years to kindergarten and 20 for preschoolers. The centre is expected to open in August 2019.
“Being a parent is a full-time job, but when it’s not your only job, finding quality child care can make a big difference,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “It’s clear that having access to child care is good for both families and the economy, and we are determined to provide parents with more options and opportunites to help create a better future for their children.”
KinderHeart uses the Montessori method of education, which encourages children to think independently and follow their own interests. Children learn and develop new skills through experimentation, independence and exploring the natural world, while learning what it means to be part of a community.
"KinderHeart Montessori is thriving in Pitt Meadows, and we are now pleased to bring KinderHeart to the city of West Kelowna," said Saskia Nicholls, head of school, KinderHeart Montessori. "We recognize the need for quality, nurturing and safe child care that allows children to grow in a Montessori environment. Our centre is built specifically to service, inspire and educate children, and we are grateful to be given this opportunity from the B.C. government to move forward with this endeavour."
With two existing centres already in Pitt Meadows, KinderHeart Montessori’s West Kelowna location will develop local roots by working with community partners to provide inclusive care for children with extra support needs. The school also works with Hope Immigration Consulting to sponsor and hire new immigrants to work at its centres.
“Inclusivity means providing a space where children of all abilities can fully participate in activities,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “KinderHeart’s inclusive curriculum will help children grow and learn at their own pace, so everyone is supported to reach their full potential.”
Under the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, child care providers can apply at any time throughout the year under a new continuous application process.
The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund is part of the Province’s Childcare BC plan and supports its commitment to give B.C. families access to affordable, quality child care when they want or need it. Since July 2018, the Province has funded more than 4,300 new licensed child care spaces through Childcare BC. More new spaces will be announced as projects are approved.
Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- Through Childcare BC’s space creation initiatives, including Start Up Grants, 133 new licensed child care spaces have been approved for funding in the Kelowna area.
- The City of West Kelowna recently received a Community Child Care Planning Grant as part of a regional application led by the City of Kelowna.
- Lake Country and Peachland were part of this application. The local governments are sharing $97,300 to undertake a needs assessment and create a child care action plan for Central Okanagan to determine the child care needs of local families over the next 10 years.
- Funding comes from the Community Child Care Planning Program, a $3-million partnership between the Province and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.
- One child care provider in Kelowna was selected to deliver low-cost child care as part of the Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites Program.
- Little Scholars YMCA at Okanagan College is providing 53 spaces: eight spaces for children under 36 months, 35 for children aged three years to kindergarten and 10 preschool spaces.
For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
To learn more about the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund and to apply, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund
To find child care in a specific community, view the online child care map: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/
Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430
For more information on child care in Kelowna, visit Childhood Connections, Okanagan Family and Childcare Society: https://childhoodconnections.ca/
For more information about KinderHeart Montessori, visit: https://kinderheart.ca/