Families in the Columbia Basin will soon have new and improved child care options. Columbia Basin Trust is providing $546,780 to 42 child care centres to upgrade equipment and make other improvements to 722 current spaces, plus create 122 new spaces.

“Knowing how essential child care is to so many Basin residents, our aim for this intake was to help create at least 75 new spaces—and these projects will create that and 47 more,” said Aimee Ambrosone, Director of Delivery of Benefits at Columbia Basin Trust. “We’re supporting child care providers to upgrade their spaces so they can meet licensing requirements and complete renovations without as much financial stress, ultimately creating inviting spaces for children in our region.”

Golden Child Daycare, operated by Blaeberry Holdings Ltd., is one of the recipients. It will add 16 new child care spaces—doubling its capacity—by building an addition to its facility and adding to its outdoor play area.

“There is a high demand for daycare spaces in our community. It will be so nice to be able to say “yes” to parents when they ask if there are spaces available,” said owner Pamela Tetrault. “Our facility will now be able to add six spaces for children under 3 and 10 spaces for children ages 3 to12. Plus, the new playground will be a wonderful addition where all of the children can play and climb.”

In Castlegar, Desiree’s Family Daycare will be creating six new child care spaces after purchasing indoor and outdoor play equipment and car seats.

“Before this grant I simply did not have enough equipment for all the children,” said owner Desiree LePage. “With the grant it allows me to have enough for six more children. They will also have a safe environment, and I can provide activities that will help the children be more active as they learn through play.”

Fernie’s seven-space Busy Bees Family Daycare will upgrade its indoor and outdoor play equipment and purchase a new stroller.

“We spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in the summer,” said owner Louise Wight. “I know the children will be so excited with the upgrades, and their parents love to see them playing and having fun outside too.”

Revelstoke’s Stepping Stones Child Care Centre, operated by the Revelstoke Child Care Society, is one of the recipients. It will be adding 12 new child care spaces after renovating a classroom next to its existing facility.

“The Revelstoke Child Care Society has an extensive infant and toddler waitlist,” said Linda Chell, Executive Director for the Revelstoke Child Care Society. “With this support from the Trust, after much needed renovations to the room and outdoor play area, this space will be a vibrant and inviting Infant and Toddler Centre to help meet the needs of Revelstoke’s families.”

For more information on Child Care Capital Grants, visit ourtrust.org/childcarecapitalgrants.

This program is one way the Trust is supporting child care in the Basin. Through its $3.6-million Child Care Support Program, announced in fall 2017, the Trust also offers a Program Advisor and the Early Childhood Educators Workforce Development Fund. These help child care providers address business challenges and workforce needs. Learn more at ourtrust.org/childcaresupport.

Early childhood and child development is one of the Trust’s 13 strategic priorities. Over the past five years, the Trust has helped create over 200 new child care spaces and improved the quality and safety of over 1,700 spaces. Learn about all the ways the Trust supports social well-being in the Basin at ourtrust.org/social.

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org or call 1.800.505.8998.

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