Erin Barry (left) speaks to supporters and officials about the new Early Years Centre in rural Lumby which is seeking support in order to open its doors. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Support sought to ease childcare crisis near Vernon

Early Years Centre outside of Lumby opening delayed, leaving parents in a lurch

Efforts to ease the child care crisis in Lumby with the new Early Years Centre have hit a roadblock, leaving desperate parents in tears.

“Literally every day, more than once a day, we are getting calls after calls after calls, (asking) ‘are you open?’” said Andrea Thiessen, head of the Whitevale school.

The new centre hoped to be open by now, but recently received notice of a requirement to install a $200,000 water holding system before permits could be issued.

That has not only pushed the opening date back, it has left parents who were relying on the centre neing open, scrambling.

“The sad reality of our area is there are moms in tears as they aren’t able to go back to work.They’re going to lose their positions because there’s just no day care,” Thiessen said.

“We are truly in a day care shortage. It really is quite a critical need, everywhere.”

The Early Years Centre was aiming to alleviate that need with 63 spaces for all ages, from infancy to Grade 7.

“We could open five of these centres and they would all be full,” Thiessen said.

The new centre in rural Lumby has almost 50 people on a waiting list for its infant-toddler program, which has 12 spaces.

So the $1.5-million centre is looking for a boost from the community to get its doors open sooner rather than later.

“This is a community asset,” capital campaign coordinator Roxanne Brierley said.

Not only is the new centre helping put parents back into the workforce, it is creating jobs with 10 positions— an expansion from the existing facility.

It’s a big jump from the two workers the centre employed five years ago to a new total of 22.

The centre is run by the Bridge Educational Society, a non-profit venture.

Those interested in making donations, or a avail of a range of naming opportunities (everything from the play yard all families pass through each day to one of the four classrooms) can contact to learn more or contact Brierley at

READ MORE: Lumby childcare centre hit with unforeseen expense, asks for public help

READ MORE: Tolko donation helps build new daycare in Lumby


Erin Barry shows the existing Waldorf facility, which is being expanded with the Early Years Centre in rural Lumby. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Just Posted

Tax increase allows for more firefighters in Vernon

City of Vernon councillors approved a 4.91 per cent tax increase in 2020

Truck fire spreads to property in gated Vernon community

A loud bang rang out as flames spread to the grass

RCMP traffic services moves to Falkland to slow down speeders

Falkland detachment to serve as new HQ for RCMP’s North Okanagan Traffic Services

Mr. Mikes Vernon to recognize local charities with $500

Restaurant looking for Deeds Well Done in 7th annual holiday campaign

WATCH: Vernon house fire deemed under control: firefighters

Homeowner says he believes the fire originated in the basement

B.C. woman charged in connection to stolen vehicle smash-up in Kamloops

Kersten Ina Peters was arrested in the Fraser Valley on Friday, Dec. 6

Truck with body inside found at bottom of lake near Kootenay ferry

Investigators believe no foul play is expected but are unsure how the vehicle ended up in the Arrow Lakes

VIDEO: Calgary man narrowly escapes from avalanche while running at Lake Louise

Bryon Howard caught the entire wild experience on camera

Former Summerland lifeguard to be sentenced in January

Edward Casavant has pleaded guilty to child assault and pornography charges

Map points to mysterious ‘Waterdome’ in the middle of Salmon Arm Bay

City would like to have map marker removed, pilot recalls its significance

Montreal Canadien stars lend helping hand to Okanagan charity

John Perlinger hopes his signed portrait of Shea Weber and Carey Price will boost new website

RCMP asks Kootenay cannabis shop to remove image of famous Mountie from storefront

Owner happy to comply with RCMP, but wants more information first

Impairment a possible factor in Kelowna Tim Hortons crash: RCMP

One person inside the restaurant suffered minor injuries

Most Read