Families in Coldstream will soon have access to more than 30 new licensed child care spaces as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to increase child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“The new Maven Lane child care centre’s location near the local elementary school means parents who also have older children will have a one-stop drop-off and pickup location, making morning routines much easier,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “The result of a great partnership with the district, this new, accessible facility will also ensure that children of all abilities will be able to safely access the building and participate in the centre’s activities.”
Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund is supporting the District of Coldstream in building Maven Lane, across from Lavington Elementary school. The centre, which will be operated by the North Okanagan Child Care Society, is expected to open in December 2020 and will offer 32 spaces, including 12 infant/toddler spaces, eight spaces for children age three to five years, and 12 spaces for children up to the age of 12 years.
“We have heard from the community that there is a desperate need for additional child care spaces in Coldstream,” said Jim Garlick, mayor of Coldstream. “The recent Child Care Needs Assessment Report showed a significant lack of available child care spaces in our area. We would like to thank the Province of British Columbia and the Ministry of Children and Family Development for providing these funds which will help to address the child care shortage in our community.”
Maven Lane will be an inclusive centre with wheelchair-accessible washrooms and outdoor play spaces, and staff will have training in early childhood development and special needs to ensure all children can participate in activities. Parent participation will include field trips to local fire halls, police stations, museums, libraries, pet stores and beaches to build a sense of community.
“Providing quality, affordable and inclusive child care goes hand in hand with a strong, vibrant economy,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “By funding nearly 16,800 new licensed spaces throughout the province, our government is helping more parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities knowing that when they drop their kids off in the morning, they’ll get the nurturing support they need to grow and thrive.”
July 2020 marks the second anniversary of the launch of the New Spaces Fund, which has approved an average of 700 new spaces for funding each month. So far, nearly 16,800 new spaces have been funded throughout the province, helping parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.
These new spaces are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history. An additional 4,100 spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, means that more than 20,900 new licensed spaces have been funded since July 2017.
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.
- This investment means 69 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in Coldstream since July 2018.
- As the Province moves towards its “new normal” under COVID-19, child care capital builds may see unexpected delays.
- Once operational, child care providers will be required to follow guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control to keep staff and the families they serve safe and to limit the risk of transmission.
For information on health and safety standards for child care, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/ChildCareCovid-19Response
For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430
To learn more about the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund
To find child care in your community, view the online child care map: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/
A backgrounder follows.