The Early Years Centre, a project near Lumby initiated in late 2017, received further significant financial support from the BC government late in October with a $250,000 Capital Project Grant from the Community Gaming Grants branch of the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
This adds to the December 2017 major capital grant of $500,000 from the Ministry of Children and Family Development and $10,000 of funding support from Community Foundation North Okanagan.
The Early Years Centre, which will house 63 spaces from infant through school-aged care, will be built on the Okanagan Waldorf School (formerly Cedar Bridge School) campus in Lumby. It will serve children and families throughout Lumby, Coldstream, Vernon and beyond.
Operated by the Bridge Educational Society, the same registered charity that established and operates Okanagan Waldorf School, the Early Years Centre will expand upon years of experience in early childhood education and will fill a critical childcare need in the North Okanagan.
“The objective of this project is to provide a childcare centre that is not only a solution to the lack of childcare locally, but more importantly focuses on providing a nurturing environment that fosters wonder and imagination, where children can connect with nature and are immersed in a culture of community,” said Erin Barry, early childhood manager. “The children will have daily farm-to-table experiences. All of this will allow children to thrive and will build a solid foundation for their future and for that of our community.”
Added Roxanne Brierly, society treasurer: “We have designed a centre that will put our area on the map – a choice for quality childcare that will make our region an even more desirable place to live. The support we have received to date from the B.C. government is a testament to our proven track record and to our plans for expanding and supporting our youth in this way.
“We still have a long way to go with fundraising. We hope that our greater community of organizations, businesses and
individuals will see these grants as the gift they are to our entire community and be motivated to join us in investing in our families and young children and the Early Years Centre.”