The provincial government is working towards its promise of improving child care, and Lumby is one of the first to benefit.
Parents in Lumby will soon be able to access new, licensed child-care spaces at Cedar Bridge School, announced Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy and Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen.
“Parents throughout the province are struggling to find child care,” said Conroy. “The new spaces that will be built at Cedar Bridge don’t fix this crisis, but they will make a difference to local families, and are part of our government’s commitment to improving child care in B.C.”
The province is providing the Bridge Educational Society with $500,000 to create 43 new spaces – 12 spaces for infants and toddlers, 16 spaces for children aged three to five years and 15 school-age spaces – which will be available by late 2018.
Recently voted as North Okanagan’s Best Private School by readers of Okanagan Life magazine, Cedar Bridge School provides Waldorf education on an 18-acre forested campus.
“We have created a preschool program that strives to nurture the children in a home-like environment, where they spend time in nature and on the adjacent organic farm, where they work with their hands and where they are cared for in a very nurturing and intentional environment. This grant, along with additional fundraising, will allow us to expand physically to offer infant/toddler care, day care and before-and after-school care programs as well. There is the need in our community and we have the experience and desire to fill this need,” said Erin Smith, early childhood manager.
Added Roxanne Brierley, board president: “We are dedicated to providing preschool and elementary education that ignites a love of learning and supports children on their way to becoming confident, creative and contributing community members. This grant from the Ministry of Children and Family Development allows us to open the doors to more families and support their young children in a very nurturing and developmentally appropriate way.”
These new child-care spaces are part of the Province’s $33-million investment in child care major capital funding that will support more than 3,800 new child-care spaces in 52 communities throughout British Columbia.
The Province is now in the process of working with the successful proponents to establish project agreements, which include the specific requirements providers have identified for each site, such as the need to lease or buy property, obtain local zoning permits and hire contractors to renovate the sites. Construction and renovations for the majority of the approved projects are expected to begin shortly; however, each site’s timelines for completion will differ depending on their individual proposal requirements.
“Speeding up the creation of new child-care spaces is one step in the B.C. government’s long-term commitment to building a system of accessible, affordable and quality child care for families across the province,” said Chen. “We look forward to seeing these projects come to life.”
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