600 more childcare places
Photo: YMCA file photo
A major expansion of childcare spaces in the Central Okanagan is expected to be completed by next fall.
Central Okanagan Public schools is in the process of building seven new childcare facilities at various local schools. The seven facilities have a total cost of about $29 million and are being funded by the provincial government.
“The implementation of these projects will create 602 new childcare spaces for the local community. We are grateful to be a part of this initiative,” said an update sent to the school board on Friday.
The facilities will be located at Black Mountain Elementary (82 seats), Okanagan Mission Secondary (82 seats), Anne McClymont Elementary (92 seats), George Elliot Secondary (81 seats), North Glenmore Elementary (92 seats), Ellison Elementary School ( 81 spaces) and Hudson Road Elementary (92 spaces).
“Among the seven day care projects, five are under construction, one is in the procurement stage and one is in the design development stage. All seven projects are scheduled to be completed by fall 2023,” the SD23 update said.
The day care centers will be run by three nonprofit organizations: the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club Okanagan and Clubhouse Childcare.
There remains a severe shortage of child care spaces in the Okanagan, although operators have said a shortage of educators is the biggest barrier to expanding day care.
The YMCA has gone as far as offer free education for early childhood educators, training that typically costs about $15,000 in tuition.