School District #83 board supports city application for Community Child Care Space Creation program funding. (File photo)

School district supports city application to fund childcare spaces

Grant would be used to determine needs, select space and make plans in Salmon Arm

Salmon Arm may be able to get a hold of some provincial funding to plan for future child care spaces in the city, and School District #83 has thrown its weight behind the city’s proposal.

At the Dec. 18 school board meeting, the decision was announced that trustees will be writing a letter of support for the City of Salmon Arm to secure funding from a provincial grant program to identify the need for child-care spaces and plan for the future.

In November, the B.C. government announced a Community Child Care Space Creation program, which is targeted at communities interested in creating new child care spaces over the next 10 years.

Related: Province says 83 groups have benefitted from inclusive childcare fund

The grant is designed to help communities assess the need for additional childcare in the area, take an inventory of available resources and set a timeline for work to be done.

Municipal governments receiving the grant will survey their community to understand their specific needs and identify areas where child care is needed, along with the number of spaces and the types of child care required. Governments will also determine whether current child care spaces are meeting the unique needs of under-served populations. Applications for these grants must be submitted by January 18.

Related: School District 83 says a buyer is lined up for Salmon Arm’s DAC

At the Dec. 18 school board meeting in Salmon Arm, Interim Secretary-Treasurer Bruce Hunt filled in some background for trustees, reporting there is also capital funding available for day cares (either new construction or modular buildings) through the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund for up to $500,000.

“There is a long history in this school district of cooperating with initiatives to have childcare spaces on school property,” Hunt said.”

Hunt explained that, typically, a non-profit society arranges and deals with all operating matters while the school district applies for the capital grant and leases it to the non-profit for a token price of one dollar.

Board members subsequently passed a motion to write a letter to the City of Salmon Arm in support of its application of a Community Child Care Planning Grant. They also advised the City of Salmon Arm that, if requested, the district would be pleased to participate in the assessment of site locations.


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