After being approved for money for child care from the B.C. government earlier this year, Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district again hopes to increase the amount of child-minding spots.
Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ board is set to vote on a business committee recommendation for an application that would see up to five new childcare sites through the Childcare B.C. New Spaces Fund. Service delivery is projected to begin in September 2022 and while the district is in the midst of looking into locations, Uplands Park and Pleasant Valley elementary schools “are being contemplated as potential sites,” said a staff report.
“We were reminded by the ministry of children and families that they’re about to close the next [round] of funding availability,” Mark Walsh, district secretary-treasurer, said at the Oct. 14 committee meeting. “So what we would like to do is get the board’s OK to proceed with applying for up to five … if we can’t find five sites that would be appropriate, five sites that can support the additional demand, then it may be less and then we’d come back to the board.”
Walsh said Pete Sabo, district executive director of planning and operations, has reached out to area regional districts and municipalities to inform them about the district’s intentions and to see if there are suggestions for locations.
In July, the B.C. Ministry of State for Child Care announced funding for 406 childcare spaces for 10 projects across Nanaimo-Ladysmith, through the fund, creating child-care spaces on school grounds and work has begun, according to Walsh.
“Building of some of the sites by our own in-house forces, along with our students, is proceeding. Forest Park (Elementary School) is looking ready to go,” Walsh said at the meeting.
The board is set to vote on the recommendation at its Oct. 28 meeting. According to the ministry website, the call for applications is open until Nov. 1.