Construction has begun on two facilities in Vernon that will create nearly 200 licenced child care spaces for young children.
The larger of the two facilities is being erected by Sawchuk Developments on the south end of the Recreation Complex on 35th Avenue. Once finished, it will feature 124 spaces: 24 for infants and toddlers and 100 for children aged three to kindergarten.
The second facility is being built adjacent to the Lakers Clubhouse in the Okanagan Landing area by ANR Construction Ltd. and will include 74 spaces: 24 for infants and toddlers and 50 spaces for kids aged three to kindergarten.
“These new spaces are going to make such a difference to families right here in Vernon,” said Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu. “Inclusive, affordable childcare means parents can pursue new education or career opportunities, knowing their kids are being well cared-for. I’m so happy our government is able to partner with the City of Vernon to make this happen, and am grateful for their work.”
Both facilities will be owned by the City of Vernon and operated through an agreement with the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club.
The two child care centres come thanks to grant funding from the province and the Union of BC Municipalities.
“Supporting a healthy, vibrant, family-oriented community is a priority for city council,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “We have heard clearly from citizens that many more child care spaces are needed in our region. By adding these spaces, we will be helping parents to re-enter or stay in the workforce, advance careers, operate businesses, or attend schooling or training. This is how our community will continue to grow and become more sustainable. The city is extremely grateful to the Province and UBCM for making these projects a reality to further support Greater Vernon families.”
Based on strategies put forward in the Greater Vernon Child Care Space Action Plan in 2020, the city applied for infrastructure grants to increase the number of spaces in the area. Both of the city’s applications to the BC Child Care Space Creation program were successful and $3 million in funding was awarded for each of the two child care centers. The total funding received for both projects is $7 million.
The two facilities are scheduled to open by the fall of 2022.