The District of Coldstream announced it was the recipient of a $637,800 grant from the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund on April 24, 2020. A new 32-space childcare facility is to be constructed in Lavington Park. (Google Maps)

The District of Coldstream announced it was the recipient of a $637,800 grant from the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund on April 24, 2020. A new 32-space childcare facility is to be constructed in Lavington Park. (Google Maps)

Coldstream mayor clears air on Lavington childcare centre concerns

New provincially-funded facility to be built in Lavington Park; residents consider petition

Several Lavington residents are voicing concerns around a recently announced childcare facility to be built.

The District of Coldstream announced it received a $637,000 grant from the province on April 24. The money will fund the construction of a new facility in Lavington Park that will provide 32 new childcare spaces, but on April 28, some residents turned to Facebook to say this facility is unnecessary and talk of a petition is ongoing.

Pointing to a recently opened private childcare facility that opened in the community, one resident said this competition is unwarranted and instead will take “away our greenspace.”

Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick said he doesn’t recognize this as competition the same way he would see the district opening a lumber plant next door to Tolko. Instead, he said, he sees this in the “same realm as health care or school care.”

“Once people start using it and see the benefits of it,” he said. “I think it’s healthy for the community to draw in young families.”

Garlick said the district began its investigation into childcare needs in 2018 after hearing from Lavington residents that a childcare facility operating out of a church had closed. An anecdotal assessment was completed, but a formal needs assessment wasn’t undertaken until the district joined the City of Vernon in its Child Care Space Action Plan assessment in January 2020.

Continued input from residents underscored a need for quality childcare.

In March 2020, the findings of the formal childcare needs assessment were presented to the District of Coldstream and Vernon council. The results pointed to a lack of child care. A survey of more than 450 respondents found the greatest need for childcare spaces were in Coldstream, South Vernon and Mission and East Hill.

Then, consultant Gabbi Haas urged municipal governments to request additional funding from the provincial and federal levels to boost early childhood care training and providers.

Following a failed grant application in 2019 through the Union of BC Municipalities, the district resubmitted an application for a provincial grant that called for collaboration with a non-profit childcare provider.

The district was awarded the grant from the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, which focuses on non-profit organizations.

Coldstream looked to Maven Lane, a “well-respected childcare non-profit organization,” the mayor said. Maven Lane will be operating the new Lavington Park location once it’s complete.

“This is a good opportunity for both of us,” the mayor said. “This is another opportunity to have a tried and tested organization providing daycare.”

“We thought this was a win-win,” Garlick said.

The application saw Maven Lane and the district guarantee a 15-year partnership, but Garlick said he’d like to see this “continue long into the future.”

The new facility does not affect taxpayers as it is provincially funded and the operators are a non-profit organization, Garlick said.

“What we’re bringing is a small parcel of land,” he said. “A fairly unutilized parcel.”

The daycare facility will be built on the north-east corner of Lavington Park facing School Road near Lavington Elementary.

“What we hope is this will actually benefit the park,” Garlick said. “I think with parks, they don’t just sit there as green spaces, they need to be used as well.”

“Kids are good users of parks,” he said. “I think a daycare is a good use of that park.”

The facility will be around the size of a small house, Garlick said. A small outdoor play area will be fenced off for children’s safety.

As for the privately-owned daycare facility, the mayor said demand for childcare can’t be guaranteed.

“I do feel sorry for the individuals if they didn’t realize the province was making a very large push to provide non-profit daycare facilities throughout the province,” Garlick said, noting some government grants are available for for-profit organizations.

“What happens with a lot of profit facilities,” he said. “They will be around for a while and then because of financial situations or leases… they disappear. Then, those parents are left wondering where they are going to put their child Monday when they have to go to work.”

This new addition, Garlick said, is a way the district can make Coldstream more affordable.

“We’re always told we should provide affordable housing,” he said. “I don’t see affordable housing where we would lower the prices in the community, but if we could enable families to allow both parents to go to work… that is a way to make it affordable to them.”

Garlick acknowledged he wished there was additional time for public input following the successful grant application.

“When we received our funding we would have liked to have had more time for information sessions,” he said. “But that fell within the COVID-19 lockdown. We couldn’t get the OK to make the funding public and get information out until very recently (April 24).”

This, he said, has cost the district several weeks that could have been used to request proposals for contractors to get work underway.

“That’s been a challenge,” he said.

“In today’s world, with what we’re facing in a pandemic, this (childcare facility announcement) should be a positive thing.”

READ MORE: Coldstream to get 32 new daycare spots

READ MORE: More child care needed in Greater Vernon Area


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Just Posted

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

North Westside residents can dispose of their unwanted bulky items between June 30 and July 14, 2021. (File photo)
North Westside residents can soon get rid of unwanted bulky items

Large household items can be disposed of at North Westside Transfer Station June 30 to July 14

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D area. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control to Electoral Area D; director calls for respectful discussion

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Gord with a mom and her young son outside Pathways which was defunded on May 31. (Facebook)
Gord Portman with a mom and her child outside of Pathways. The sign says it all about the difference Pathways has made in people’s lives. They were defunded by Interior Health on May 31.
Penticton man takes the plunge for the recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read