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Childcare centre coming to Vernon’s Okanagan College

Former college instructor and wife donated $500,000 for on-campus childcare
Gladys Fraser, chair, Okanagan College Foundation; Helen Jackman, executive director, Okanagan College Foundation; Eric Reist, general manager, Vernon Students’ Association, Okanagan College; Athena Grelson, student, Human Service Work, Okanagan College; Lloyd Davies; and Janet Armstrong. Lloyd and Janet have contributed $500,000 toward a daycare at the Vernon campus. (Contributed)

Okanagan College’s Vernon campus will be building a childcare centre thanks to long-time Vernon resident and former college instructor Lloyd Davies and wife Janet Armstrong.

The couple gifted the college $500,000 to break down barriers for parents attending school.

“I had several colleagues who were struggling with daycare. They were trying to get teacher credentials and further their careers but finding daycare for their children was a hassle,” Davies recalls.

Davies taught adult learning at the college for those wishing to upgrade courses.

“Time and again, I would have students missing class, missing labs, missing exams. It was an ongoing issue with students who had young children. It was never a huge number, but it was pretty apparent what was happening. Really good students were working really, really hard, but daycare was just this huge hurdle for them to get over.”

The donation allowed the school to apply for the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund.

The childcare centre will be co-located with new student housing thanks to an $18 million committment from the B.C. government for 100 affordable student beds.

“Having a daycare on campus will make a huge difference in the lives of parents who are studying right here at the Vernon campus,” said Eric Reist, general manager of the Vernon Students’ Association of Okanagan College. “We thank Lloyd and his family for choosing to invest in our college community.”

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About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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