79 new licensed child care spaces will be opening on the Elk Valley in the near future, as part of the provincial government’s Childcare BC plan to increase access to affordable childcare.
Two projects in Fernie and Elkford will be supported through provincial and federal funding. The project in Fernie, which is preschool care will have 51 spaces, while the project in Elkford, which is for child care will have 28.
According to a BC Government release, the Fernie project is through Bright Beginnings Community Preschool. Working with the SD5, the funding will help expand the existing preschool care capacity from 16 spaces up to 67.
The new Fernie capacity will be available this summer.
The Elkford project is through the Elkford Child Care Centre. The District of Elkford has won the support of the Columbia Basin Trust and is partnering with the Elkford Women’s Task Force Society to create the 28 new spaces, including 12 spaces for school-age children and 16 for all ages.
The Elkford facility will open in Spring 2022.
Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO of Columbia Basin Trust said that affordable child care what a priority for the region.
“These new spaces will be a welcome addition to assist families, caregivers and their support networks. We are happy to support this work alongside our community and provincial partners,” he said.
The provincial government’s Childcare BC plan is a ten-year plan that was formally launched in 2017 and is aimed at improving access to affordable childcare across BC, with 26,000 new spaces funded so far. 6,000 of those spaces are already open.
In the Kootenays, 68 spaces have been funded in Trail, while 94 have been funded between Fernie and Cranbrook.
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