New child care spaces are coming to the West Shore

Funding from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities will allow more child care spaces to be created in the West Shore.

The $1-million grant will be used to create 24 new fully licensed daycare spaces, and 20 preschool spaces at the Juan de Fuca Recreaction Centre.

West Shore Recreation's Acting Manager of Recreation, Geoff Welham, says this is fantastic news for not only the West Shore, but the whole region.

"There's a demand for child care spaces out here in the West Shore.  And getting into this market, we're currently offering preschool programs, but allowing us now to get into the market of providing childcare spaces in the form of licensed daycare is going to be great for the region"

The JdF Rec Centre currently has 60 preschool and 94 daycare spaces, and while most of those are used by West Shore residents, there are people who come from out of the area for work who take advantage of the programs.

Welham says they need to do some renovations at the Rec Centre, and the spaces probably won't be available until 2021, after they've renovated the upper floor.

"Up above in the In the JdF Rec Centre we have some space.  It's in between the curling rink and the JdF ice rink, that is used for concurrent child care programming, there's a boardroom up there, there's some food and beverage service areas, an under utilized kitchen.   So we're really taking space that we currently have, and doing a bit of a retrofit and refurbishing it, so it can kind of be a child care centre.  Putting all of our resources under one roof, and kind of amalgamating all of the child care that we're currently offering with these new spaces is the vision that we have."

Welham says they already have some well trained staff, but with the increased number of spaces, new jobs will need to be created.

He adds that the province is trying to create more child care spaces, and the Juan de Fuca Rec is also applying for an additional million dollar grant from BC.

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