This is a creative rendering of a proposed new child care centre in Lake Country. If funding is approved, the project will be a collaborative project between Central Okanagan Public Schools and the YMCA of Okanagan. (Photo submitted)

Provincial funding sought for Okanagan child care centre

Partnership in Lake Country is between Central Okanagan Public Schools and YMCA Okanagan

A new child care centre could be coming to Lake Country.

Central Okanagan Public Schools and the YMCA of Okanagan have partnered to apply for provincial funding to provide a new centre. The facility would be housed on the grounds of George Elliot Secondary School, and would serve families with newborns to 12 years of age, if funding is approved.

Moyra Baxter, School District 23 board of education chairperson, acknowledges the need for child care services in the area.

“Both the school district and the YMCA are committed to providing the best possible services to children, and by working together we can offer more support to families who desperately need to find child care in a safe, caring environment,” said Baxter.

This centre will help ease the struggle of families who’ve been waiting for child care spaces locally.

“The demand for child care in Lake Country is growing,” said Danielle Miranda, child care general manager for the YMCA of Okanagan. “A significant need has been identified in the community over the coming years and this new centre will provide families an option for affordable, quality care for their children.

“We are looking forward to working in collaboration with Central Okanagan Public Schools on this community-minded project.”

Central Okanagan Public Schools and the YMCA of Okanagan have a long-standing history of partnership, providing child care and other vital programs to its Okanagan communities. These include the YMCA Young Parents Program at Kelowna Secondary School, YMCA Beyond the Bell for children at George Pringle Elementary School in West Kelowna, and the YMCA Okanagan Swims program, which provides Grade 3 children throughout the district with water safety education.

Central Okanagan Public Schools and the YMCA will also be partnering to build the new multi-age child care centre on Dilworth Mountain, which is planned to open in 2021.

Both organizations believe families should have access to child care, regardless of their financial means. Thanks to generous community donors, this centre would also provide local families with the option to access YMCA financial assistance, on top of government-provided subsidies, if they cannot afford the full cost of care for their children.

If successful in securing the funding, construction for this project is planned to begin in early 2021 with the centre expected to open in Spring of 2022.

You can learn more about the YMCA of Okanagan’s existing child care services and other community programs at ymcaokanagan.ca.

READ MORE: Budding Central Okanagan entrepreneur students honoured

READ MORE: YMCA Okanagan offers virtual classes to keep community healthy



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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