New child care spaces are coming to Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district centres, including at École Quarterway Elementary. (News Bulletin file)

New child care spaces are coming to Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district centres, including at École Quarterway Elementary. (News Bulletin file)

Province announces partnerships on more than 200 new licensed child care spaces in Nanaimo

Majority of funding provided to Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district centres

Nanaimo parents will have more child care options available thanks to partnerships on more than 200 new licensed spaces announced by the B.C. government this week.

In a press release, B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development announced 207 new licensed child care spaces are coming to Nanaimo, with Cilaire, Georgia Avenue and Pleasant Valley elementary learning and child care centres receiving 52 spaces each. École Quarterway Elementary will see 24 spaces, Munu Learning Centre is will get funding for 11 spaces and Nanaimo Innovation Academy is adding 16 spaces.

With a majority of spaces coming at Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ sites, the school district expressed gratitude. Charlene McKay, school board chairperson, said the “significant investment” will create additional options for families in need.

“Finding affordable child care close to home can be a challenge for many families,” McKay said. “We will continue to work closely with the ministry in identifying areas most in need, today and in the future.”

The announcement for Nanaimo Innovation Academy comes after it received 15 spaces in January and it expressed similar sentiments as the school district.

“Nanaimo is a fast-growing community, attracting young families from across the province, which means the need for quality, affordable and inclusive child care continues to outpace availability,” said Keely Freeman, Nanaimo Innovation Academy founder, in the release. “The support we’ve received from the province allows us to offer more families a chance to join our day care program.”

The money comes via the government’s Childcare B.C. plan and since its launch in 2018, has provided money for 15 other projects in the Nanaimo area. In all, the program has funded 1,175 spaces to the area.

Doug Routley, Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA, said in the release that he has heard from many families that are benefiting from the increase in spaces and decrease in child care costs.

RELATED: Province partners for 100-plus child-care spots in Lantzville


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