$25 million granted by province and feds for 273 more childcare spaces in Kelowna
Kelowna families will be able to access more child care spaces in the future with an announcement from the province for three successful ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund grants totaling $25.1 million to add 273 childcare spaces to future community, recreation and wellness facilities in Kelowna.
The ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund combines provincial investments and funding from the Government of Canada through the Canada-BC Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement 2021-2026. This agreement commits Canada and BC to work together to create 40,000 new high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive licensed child care spaces by fiscal year 2027-2028.
“Affordable, high-quality, flexible and inclusive regulated child care has significant, substantiated benefits for children, families and the Canadian economy,” said Jenna Sudds, Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “These new spaces will allow more parents in Kelowna to join other families in B.C. who are saving up to $6,600 annually per child in regulated child care. Working with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners to support child care across Canada is key to the Government of Canada’s commitment to encourage a strong workforce and economy.”
“In partnership with the City of Kelowna, we’re supporting a brighter future for the next generation,” said Grace Lore, Minister of State for Child Care. “With these new child care spaces, families can pursue more opportunities, which will strengthen the community and economy. This is not just about building new child care centres, but also investing in the future we all share.”
The childcare spaces will be located within three of the projects that are being delivered as part of plans to build a stronger Kelowna including 91 spaces at each of the new activity centres for all-ages planned for Glenmore and Mission, and 91 spaces at the redevelopment of Parkinson Recreation Centre (PRC).
“We are thrilled to receive funding to officially add childcare into these future facilities, a vital service that is needed to support parents and families in our growing city,” said Mayor Dyas, City of Kelowna. "These prime locations, located near residential neighbourhoods, parks and recreational opportunities, provide convenient options that will allow children and families in Kelowna to experience the full benefits of childcare close to their homes.”
Plans for both the redevelopment of PRC and two all-ages activity centres already signaled for the inclusion of childcare spaces, as part of a focused effort to bring more quality childcare space to the community and builds on the recent addition of 86 new childcare spaces at Kelowna International Airport (YLW). The construction of the two activity centres is slated for completion in 2026, with the redevelopment of PRC set to open in 2027.
The 273 new spaces will include:
· 36 spaces (under 36 months),
· 75 spaces (30 months to school age) and,
· 162 spaces (school age).
This funding is provided to create new licensed childcare, helping families access affordable, quality and inclusive child care as a core service they can depend on while strengthening communities.
The City plans on operating the future school-aged child care and partnering with a non-profit provider for the full-day childcare.