Families in Kamloops are benefiting from a new child care centre opening at Ralph Bell Elementary in the Valleyview neighbourhood.
“Accessing affordable, quality child care is so important for parents and families,” said Grace Lore, Minister of State for Child Care. “It allows them to work, study or pursue other goals and provides young children with the early learning opportunities they need. Children, their families and Kamloops’s local economy will benefit from these much-needed new licensed infant-toddler child care spaces.”
The Province has partnered with School District 73 (SD73) to build the Inquiring Little Minds Child Care Centre on the school grounds with $2.8 million in ChildCareBC New Spaces Funding. The new centre is for children aged five and younger.
“Opening the new child care centre at Ralph Bell Elementary school in Valleyview is a significant step towards increasing the ability for Kamloops families to access affordable and high-quality child care,” said Heather Grieve, board chair, SD73. “These 72 new licensed infant-toddler child care spaces are a welcome addition for families in our community.”
The centre will offer full-day child care to infants and toddlers and will help children develop routines, independence and social skills through daily activities, including art, circle time and nature explorations.
“These new spots are more than child care for families in need, they are the light at the end of a long tunnel,” said Emma Silver, manager, Inquiring Little Minds. “They are a step toward ensuring a bright future with quality education for children of all ages.”
This is the first child care centre developed on school grounds in SD73. Another centre is currently under construction at Happyvale Elementary to support children and families in the North Shore/Brocklehurst neighbourhoods.
Since 2018 through the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund, more than 33,000 licensed child care spaces have been funded in B.C. with more than 950 of these in and around Kamloops.
The Province and the Government of Canada are investing nearly $300 million to fund the creation of new licensed child care spaces in high-need areas throughout B.C. Applications are still being accepted for the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund from public and not-for-profit child care operators and providers, and Indigenous governments, and will do so until there is no more budget available.
For information about the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund
For information about ChildCareBC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare