B.C. minister of state for child care Katrina Chen, seen here in Nanaimo earlier this year, announced 536 new licensed child care spaces for Nanaimo and Ladysmith. (News Bulletin file photo)

B.C. minister of state for child care Katrina Chen, seen here in Nanaimo earlier this year, announced 536 new licensed child care spaces for Nanaimo and Ladysmith. (News Bulletin file photo)

More than 500 new child care spaces coming to Nanaimo-Ladysmith area

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools to partner on accommodating 406 new child care spaces

Parents across the Nanaimo and Ladysmith area stand to benefit from more than 500 new child care spaces coming about from Childcare B.C. New Spaces Fund money.

At a press conference Wednesday, Katrina Chen, B.C. minister of state for child care, said Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district has received 406 of the 536 spaces, which will go toward 10 projects that will create licensed child care spaces on school grounds. More than 70 spaces will be created for centres at Chase River (72), Forest Park (76) and Ladysmith Primary (72).

Rock City Elementary will see 52 spaces, Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh 38, Fairview Elementary 23, Cedar 20, Georgia Avenue and Quarterway 18 each and Bayview 17.

Chen said the new spaces at school district facilities will be beneficial to families, especially when spaces can be created on school district grounds.

The spaces will be for services that include before- and after-school care and for children ranging from infant to kindergarten aged.

“Parents can drop off their older kids at the school and also drop off their younger kids at the child care centre,” Chen said. “Having before- and after-school care to make sure they don’t have to rush to pick up and drop off their kids due to their work hours, that just really brings the peace of mind to our parents and it also really supports our young children to make sure they are familiar with the school environment and the community so they can have a better transition into the K-12 system.”

Charlene McKay, Nanaimo-Ladysmith school board chairperson, said the spaces are greatly needed.

“As a parent of school-aged children, I understand first-hand how difficult it can be to find affordable and reputable child care facilities in your own community,” McKay said during the conference. “This continues to be a topic of conversation throughout the school district for parents. I applaud our government for identifying this major hurdle for our families.”

She said further information as to registration and eligibility is in the works.

“We’re continuing to work on those details as we work through the process of all the technical details included with the build, as well,” said McKay.

In addition to Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools centres, Discover Montessori Society will see creation of 116 spaces for its new farm school slated for Jingle Pot Road.

Nanaimo Innovation Academy Foundation will see 14 new spaces at its existing location on Hecate Street.

The HOPE Centre on North Road on Gabriola Island will see creation of eight spaces.

Projects are anticipated to be completed between September 2020 and October 2021.

Close to $9 million will be provided to Nanaimo and Ladysmith, the Ministry of Children and Family Development told the News Bulletin. Chen said the province would pay for the capital cost of building the child care spaces.

“For public sector applications we can pay for the full amount, 100 per cent of the cost, depending on the application,” said Chen. “We do have operating grants that are available to support child care providers [and] that’s a separate program.”

Sheila Malcolmson, Nanaimo MLA, said child care space concerns are on the minds of constituents.

“We know how essential it is to have access to quality, licensed child care close to home,” she said. “Especially during the pandemic and in our recovery from the economic and social impacts of the pandemic, we know how especially important child care is to building back B.C. When our children thrive, we all thrive.”

RELATED: Province announces support for 300 child care spaces in Nanaimo

RELATED: Province announces more child care spaces for Nanaimo



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Childcare

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Paige Karczynski is the new executive director of Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. (Photo submitted)
New executive director leading Nanaimo hospice at a time when grief counselling is greatly needed

Paige Karczynski takes over as Nanaimo Community Hospice Society begins its 40th year

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
AUDIO: Interview with broadcaster and Island resident Terry David Mulligan

PQBeat podcast asks Nanoose Bay resident about radio and TV career, wine and more

The site of the former Arrowview Hotel, on Second Avenue and Athol Street, as of Jan. 14, 2020. (Elena Rardon/Black Press)
Port Alberni pressures owner of demolished hotel, Lantzville’s Pottie, for final cleanup

Demolition finished in June 2020 but site still full of construction material

Letter writers weigh in on the City of Nanaimo adopting ‘doughnut’ economics as a guiding principle for decision-making.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: City of Nanaimo’s ‘doughnut’ has to be more than empty calories

Letter writers react to city council’s recent decision to adopt ‘doughnut’ economic model

Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization, a non-profit, seeks to raise $8,000 for a play structure to help children remain active during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Unique Kids Organization asking for help fundraising for play structure

Physical activities have been limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, says non-profit

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Incident happened at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

Jackie Hildering, whale researcher with the Marine Education and Research Society, and Nanaimo Area Land Trust will present the Return of Giants, a webinar about the humpback whales’ return from the brink of extinction and how boaters can help protect them. (Jackie Hildering/MERS photo taken under Marine Mammal License MML-42)
‘Return of the Giants:’ B.C. getting a second chance to coexist with humpback whales

‘Marine Detective’ partners with Nanaimo stewardship group on webinar

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Cyclists pick up swag and cycling trail maps at city Bike to Work Week ‘celebration station’ a few years ago. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo’s active transportation plan will be about more than infrastructure

City working on goals to double walking trips and quintuple cycling and busing trips

Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance after numerous tire slashings between Jan. 12-14. (News Bulletin file)
20 tires punctured in ‘slashing spree’ in Nanaimo

Nanaimo RCMP ask for any tips about Jan. 12-14 incidents in Country Club and Boxwood areas

Most Read