Eleven projects will create 462 new licensed child care spaces in the Capital Regional District (CRD).
Christ Church Cathedral Educational Society
Twenty-five new child care spaces for children aged three to five have been created at Cathedral School Childcare and Junior Kindergarten. Programming at the facility is inclusive, with the society working with Island Health’s Supported Child Development Program and Early Intervention Programs and other professionals to assist families with extra-support needs. Children will be introduced to Indigenous ways of learning and culture through songs, stories and games as part of their daily activities. They will also have the opportunity to plan and tend a garden, learn about ecosystems and the part they can play to nurture our world, such as composting and recycling. Children will also learn to play musical instruments, be introduced to French and go on local field trips. The organization expects to complete the project by March 2020.
“We applied for this funding because of the critical shortage of child care spaces available for working parents,” said Stuart Hall, head of school. “High quality affordable licensed child care is in high demand and we knew we were able to fill the gap with a dedicated team of early childhood educators who know how to provide a safe, happy and healthy nurturing environment with programs that were inclusive and supportive to our families and community. We thank the ministry for helping us achieve our goal to provide a new quality child care facility serving local children.”
City of Colwood
Forty new school-age spaces are being created at the Juan de Fuca Parks and Recreation Centre and Kids Cottage. These spaces are in addition to the 24 spaces for children aged three to five and 20 preschool spaces at the same facility that are being funded through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities’ Community Child Care Space Creation Program. The new spaces will be fully accessible, with the centre offering inclusive programming, including wheelchair basketball, tennis and rugby, as well as a pick-up service for children attending school in the West Shore. The centre will also offer support and access to programming for lower-income families, Indigenous families and those who are new to Canada. The city expects the project to be complete by September 2021.
“This funding for Juan de Fuca Child Care Centre will provide the West Shore community with much-needed child care support, creating new fully accessible licensed daycare, preschool and after-school care spaces,” said Geoff Welham, program manager, West Shore Parks and Recreation. “It will also allow us to upgrade the existing child care spaces to give even more local kids a safe place to grow and play.”
Esquimalt Nation Daycare
Thirty-six new child care spaces are being created – 12 infant/toddler spaces and 24 spaces for children aged three to five. The facility will offer Indigenous programming, based on the Esquimalt First Nation’s culture and language, with weekly visits from Elders. There will also be supports for both parents and children, including a pre/post-natal group and other drop-in groups for parents covering topics such as nutrition, family inclusion and early childhood education, alongside cultural activities like weaving or beading. The First Nation expects the centre to open in December 2020.
Greater Victoria School District (SD61)
Two hundred and twelve new child care spaces are being created at four locations: 62 for children aged three to five, 26 preschool spaces and 124 school-age spaces:
- Eagle View Elementary: 59 spaces (10 preschool, 49 school age)
- George Jay Elementary: 49 spaces (16 ages 3-5 spaces, 8 preschool, 25 school age)
- Marigold Elementary: 49 spaces (16 ages 3-5 spaces, 8 preschool, 25 school age)
- View Royal Elementary: 55 (20 ages 3-5 spaces, 10 preschool, 25 school age)
Each facility will be operated by a non-profit society with programming that is an inclusive model. Programming at the centre will be informed by Indigenous perspectives, with children learning about local Indigenous cultures. The school district will also work closely with Vancouver Island Health Authority and the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health to ensure that the centre is inclusive and supports are available to children with extra support needs. The facilities are expected to open by summer 2023.
“The Greater Victoria School Board is proud to be a leader in partnering with the Province to provide much-needed infrastructure for child care,” said Jordan Watters, board chair, Greater Victoria School Board. “Since 2018, the school district has been working with the Province and local partners to build a solution that addresses the high demand for child care in the Greater Victoria region. We are very grateful for all the support we continue to receive, and proud to have our CUPE 382 staff construct the new child care studios in-house. Having accessible child care on site is a solution that supports families and provides quality early learning for children.”
Saanich School District (SD63)
One hundred new school-age spaces are being created at three facilities:
- Caboose Club (Cordova Bay Elementary): 20 spaces
- Lochside After School Program Society (Lochside Elementary): 40 spaces
- Percy’s Clubhouse (Sidney Elementary): 40 spaces
Each facility will be operated by a local non-profit society. The expanded centres will be accessible and inclusive, providing additional support for children with unique needs. The centres work in partnership with the Saanich School District and other community partners to provide the supports that children and families need and, where needed, children are provided with one-on-one support. As each not-for-profit child care centre is governed by a board, including parents within each school community, the programs are connected with and responsive to the needs of families in the local community. The projects are expected to be complete by September 2020.
Saanich Neighbourhood Place
Forty-nine new child care spaces are being created: 24 infant/toddler spaces and 25 spaces for children aged three to five. This takes the total number of spaces at the facility to 89, including 40 preschool spaces. Programming at the centre will be inclusive, with children given the opportunity to play on an accessible climbing wall, blocks or with balls in the centre’s multi-purpose rooms and large outdoor space, as well as visit the local library and pool. The centre is part of the Saanich Neighbourhood Place Community Hub project, offering child care services and community programming for families in the Tillicum area. Meals and a food security program will be available to families through the licensed kitchen at the hub. The organization will also offer family support and education programs, in addition to support for LGBTQ and young families. The centre is scheduled to open in January 2021.
“Saanich Neighbourhood Place has been providing services and programs to children and families for over 20 years, and we know that good quality, accessible child care contributes to the community in ways that go far beyond the families that directly benefit from the services,” said Corinne Bains, executive director, Saanich Neighbourhood Place. “We have been working toward adding full-time child care programs to our existing services for several years. With support from government and the community, we are excited to be able to move this project forward at last, anticipating an opening date in early 2021.”