A pair of Shuswap communities are evaluating the state of child care in the area.
The District of Sicamous and the Village of Chase are each collecting information and soliciting expertise to identify their community’s child-care needs.
According to a survey being circulated on Sicamous’ website, the BC government has identified a shortage of child-care spaces in the province. The district is looking to better understand the way the shortage is affecting families in Sicamous and Electoral Area E.
The introduction to the anonymous survey says it will be used to inform the province of the area’s childcare needs.
The survey asks what kinds of child care respondents currently use and what kinds they require. It also asks what people do when their regular child care is unavailable and if their child-care solution is conveniently located.
The online survey can be found on the district’s website or at www.surveymonkey.com/r/SicamousChildCare.
Meanwhile, the Village of Chase is putting funding obtained through the Ministry of Children and Family Development into a childcare planning assessment. According to a release from Teri Mindel, the lead consultant working on the assessment, the project will identify child-care space creation targets and make plans for the creation of more child-care spaces in the area. Joining Mindel on the project is Crystal-Rayne Tomma, acting as First Nations consultant, and Jodi Gibson working as the administrative co-ordinator for the project.
“Currently in BC there is a shortage of qualified child-care providers and government funding has been allocated to determine child-care space solutions,” Mindel said. “To have healthy and vibrant communities we require an increase in suitable and competent child care.”
Tomma, who is a working mom of two small boys, says she has a first-hand understanding of the importance of child care.
“Without it, parents are left scrambling to find someone to watch their children, which only adds to the stress of balancing parenting and working to provide for a family’s needs,” she said.
According to Mindel, the project will run from October to March. It will result in child-care planning recommendations and steps to implement them, which will be passed on to Chase’s mayor and council.
Those who want to know more about the project can contact Mindel and her colleagues at 250-819-0428, or Tmindel82@gmail.com.