The B.C. government has stepped up to assist in providing licensed child-care spaces in Salmon Arm and Sicamous.
Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development, was at the Tiny Tykes n Tots Childcare Centre in Salmon Arm Wednesday morning, May 22, to announce an investment of $70,485 by the province to support 12 new spaces at that centre (opened in March 2019), and another seven spaces for Sicamous’ Krystal’s Creative Kidz—that community’s first licensed child-care facility—expected to open in June.
“The New Spaces fund is just one way that the B.C. government is supporting the creation of new child-care spaces in these communities and throughout the province,” said Conroy in a media release. “Giving parents more child-care options means giving them an opportunity to go back to work or school, or pursue goals that will help them better support their families.”
I loved visiting three #childcare centres in the Okanagan today that are part of BC’s Universal Prototype Site Program! Through the program, these centres are able to offer low-cost spaces, while also providing incredible care and programming for kids. pic.twitter.com/RhPpd0dgoH— Katrine Conroy (@KatrineConroy) May 22, 2019
Tiny Tykes n Tots received $40,485 to help equip its new infant and toddler centre, states the release. The facility will host Indigenous Early Childhood Education students from Okanagan College for the practicum portion of their program. The centre also has a relationship with the Salmon Arm Bay Nature Enhancement Society, where children will be able to learn about the history of the local area.
“I am very thankful to the Childcare B.C. New Spaces fund for funding the equipment for our new infant toddler centre. With its help, I was able to open the facility at the beginning of March, with new spaces that are much-needed in our Salmon Arm community,” said Tiny Tykes owner Teena Billey.
Krystal’s Creative Kidz received $30,000 to create an indoor play space and make the facility wheelchair accessible. The owner, Krystal Johnson, will also work with young parents in need to keep child care more affordable and will provide extras like healthy snacks, sunscreen and additional clothing for children who may need extra support.
Read more: Childcare crisis looms over B.C. Interior
Under the Childcare B.C. New Spaces fund, childcare providers can apply at any time throughout the year under a new continuous application process.
To learn more about the fund and to apply, visit www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund.
To find child care your community, view the online childcare map.