New child care center coming to Dilworth Mountain
A new 2-storey child care centre is coming to Dilworth Mountain in early 2021.
The YMCA, who is leasing the land from School District No.23, received council’s approval on Monday.
The center will offer year-round service to children zero to 12 years old and another 81 child care spaces for families to access.
The project will break ground at 950 Dilworth Drive on the northern portion of the property and have minimal impact to mature vegetation on the site.
“[The building’s design] is really going to take advantage of the natural slope that’s in the Dilworth Mountain area so the building is going to appear a little bit lower because part of it will be built into the back hillside,” said YMCA Spokesperson Ronda Zakala.
She told Am1150 News there’s definitely an urgent need and shortage of child care throughout the province, especially with infant care.
“The ability for the Y to offer high quality, affordable, nurturing, multi-age child care is going to be a real benefit for the community,” said Zakala.
Councillor Luke Stack was happy to support the project, which will have the ability to serve over 140 children through infant care, out of school care and summer camps.
“Expansion of child care throughout our communities is something that's in great demand and really needed, but I also personally know the YMCA has been working on child care facilities for a very long time, trying to find an appropriate site and I'm just very encouraged to hear that you've find a site that will work for you and I wish you every success with it,” said Stack.
The YMCA has yet to determine whether the child care centre will occupy both levels, or if office space would occupy the ground floor.
Councillor Gail Given was excited to see one of many lots owned by School District No. 23 being used for child care.
“The sights are never large enough for an actual school so it's nice to see that they're finding a way to provide support through the child care side of things. So, not only great job for YMCA but glad to see these sites, that were identified as future school sites, to actually have something that will be fitting into the educational stream of things,” said Given.
The project includes a playground that will be made from wood and utilize the natural landscape.
Councillor Ryan Donn joined his colleagues in applauding the project.
“I’m just excited to get more child care centers in Kelowna and also, nice work on getting more partnership from the Provincial government for funding and we get more child care spaces in Kelowna, it's a positive news story,” said Donn.
It will be located on the same lot as the Dilworth Soccer Park.
An existing informal gravel parking lot that currently serves the park will remain but a newly-paved parking lot with 23 stalls and drop off and turn around zone will serve the development, as well as the nearby sports field during off hours.