North Okanagan families to benefit from new child care spaces |BC Gov News
This backgrounder contains additional information on the five projects that will create 151 new licensed child care spaces in Armstrong, Lumby, Salmon Arm and Vernon.
Kindale Child Care Centre (Armstrong)
The Kindale Developmental Association is renovating an existing building to create 25 new licensed child care spaces, including for children that need supports from three years old to kindergarten. The centre will have a low child-to-early-childhood-educator ratio and will employ staff with special training to assist children with support needs. This will allow all children to fully participate in child care programming. The facility is expected to open in fall 2021.
Early Years Centre (Lumby)
The Bridge Educational Society is renovating an existing facility on its Bridge Land for Learning campus, which also houses the Okanagan Waldorf School, to create 54 new licensed child care spaces, including 19 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten, 20 preschool spaces and 15 school-age spaces. Its rural campus has a community garden that supports farm-to-table experiences, as well as gardening and nutrition educational opportunities for parents. The centre is committed to continuing education and team-building experiences for all educators, including financial assistance to help staff upgrade their certification through the Work BC Foundation Training Stream. At the completion of these additional spaces, the centre will house a total of 121 child care spaces, making it one of the major employers in Lumby. The new child care spaces are expected to be available for families in January 2022.
Maple Tree Montessori (Salmon Arm)
Maple Tree Montessori will expand to offer 20 new licensed child care spaces, including 12 infant and toddler spaces and eight multi-age spaces. These additions will augment the existing 20 child care spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten and 20 preschool and kindergarten spaces, with a maximum capacity of 20 children at any time. Maple Tree Montessori’s nature study program incorporates teachings of the Secwepemc Peoples and their connection to local land. In addition, Secwepemc Elders are welcome to share stories, songs and their knowledge of Mother Earth through lessons such as wildcrafting and animal tracking. Children have the opportunity to learn about the cultures, animals and landforms of the seven continents. The new child care spaces are expected to be available in January 2022.
Harwood Elementary School (Vernon)
School District No. 22 (Vernon) is building two modular facilities to house 52 new licensed child care spaces at Harwood Elementary school. The site will include 16 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten, 16 preschool spaces and 20 school-age spaces. The facilities will help connect families with local supports, including family navigation, parenting programs, sponsorships, free programming and family counselling services. The new child care spaces are expected to be available to families in early 2022.