B.C. minister of state for child care Katrina Chen speaks with a VIU early education student at a funding announcement at the university earlier this year. (News Bulletin file photo)

B.C. minister of state for child care Katrina Chen speaks with a VIU early education student at a funding announcement at the university earlier this year. (News Bulletin file photo)

Province announces support for creation of more than 300 childcare spaces in Nanaimo

Spaces will be created at Core Education Fine Arts, Inquiring Little Minds and new VIU centre

The provincial government will work with partners to expand childcare options in the city to the tune of more than 300 new spaces.

According to a press release from the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development, 131 spaces will be offered at a new centre called Inquiring Little Minds, 120 spaces at Core Education Fine Arts Early Learning Nanaimo, and 75 spaces will be created at a new childcare centre at Vancouver Island University.

The province says its Childcare B.C. new spaces fund is supporting the new spaces at Inquiring Little Minds, which it says will be inclusive, accessible, and offer “culturally safe programming” that will include indigenous voices and perspectives. The centre is expected to open in November, the province says.

The CEFA centre opened this past December and the ministry says its curriculum “educates children academically, socially, emotionally and physically.”

VIU’s new, accessible building, expected to be open in early 2023, will function as both a child care centre and also as a training hub where students in programs, including early childhood education, social work and nursing, will be offered a practicum, according to the province.

“Families in Nanaimo have been struggling for far too long to find quality care in their community,” said Katrina Chen, minister of state for child care, in the release. “These new licensed child care spaces will support parents returning to work, especially as we transition out of this difficult time. Families will have access to quality care, as well as extra resources and supports for their entire family.”

Sheila Malcolmson, Nanaimo MLA, said it’s been seen all over Canada that women enter the workforce in greater numbers when childcare is available and affordable. She said the 326 spaces mean strong foundations for children, with breaks on costs for families.

“We know how much this will take the pressure off and in a community like ours where a lot of people are working multiple jobs to get ahead, this is just something that’s going to create that buffer,” Malcolmson said. “It’s better for families and of course better for their kids.”

Patricia O’Hagan, dean of VIU’s faculty of health and human services, said the university’s child-care centre has a goal of extended hours to help provide options for parents who attend classes.

“The centre will offer parents who are learning and working at VIU a desperately needed service,” she said.

READ ALSO: B.C. government announces $2 million for childcare professional development

READ ALSO: Province announces more childcare spaces created in Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum partner on studying child care needs


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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

Just Posted

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

Kinsmen Participark in Beban Park will be closed next week so city workers can remove dangerous trees and invasive plant species. The work is the start of an improvement project that includes replacing signs and fitness stations in the spring. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo fitness park to close for removal of hazard trees and invasive plants

Tree cutting to start in Beban Park’s Kinsmen Participark as part of improvement project

Nanaimo RCMP seek public assistance after numerous tire slashings between Jan. 12-14. (News Bulletin file)
Police seek public’s help after ‘tire slashing spree’ in central Nanaimo

Ten reports of slashed tires in the last three days, say Nanaimo RCMP

Police hope to find the owners of two canoes found at Descanso Bay on Gabriola Island. (Photo submitted)
RCMP seek owners of canoes found on Gabriola Island that possibly came from Nanaimo

Two older canoes, found by police at Descanso Bay, could have washed ashore with recent storms

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. find its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Beef to my neighbour who likes to decorate his yard with garbage. In his front yard he has a toilet bowl.
Beefs & Bouquets, Jan. 13

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Seiners fill the waters between Comox and Nanoose Bay during roe herring fishery. file photo, Pacific Wild
Quota debate heats up on the eve of Vancouver Island herring fishery

Industry and conservationists weigh in how much catch should be allowed as DFO decision coming soon

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s. (Canadian Press file)
Full parole granted to former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse of boys

Alan Davidson convicted of abusing boys in B.C. and Saskatchewan in late ’70s, early ’90s

The first COVID-19 vaccine arrives in B.C. in temperature-controlled containers, Dec. 13, 2020. (B.C. government)
More vaccine arrives as B.C. struggles with remote COVID-19 cases

Long-term care homes remain focus for public health

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring has expressed his frustration with harassment of people who have made racist comments online about Cowichan Tribes in the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak in the First Nation. (Citizen file)
Island mayor calls for de-escalation as social media gets uglier in racism fight

“Racism is wrong. But so is this kind of reaction”:

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said a lack of experienced crew members and the inability to detect navigational errors is what led to a Sooke search and rescue boat running aground in February 2019. (Twitter / @VicJRCC_CCCOS)
TSB: Sooke search and rescue boat crash caused by ‘misinterpretation of navigational information’

Crew members were lacking experience and unable to detect navigational errors

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in 60 B.C. First Nations by next week

B.C. has allocated 25,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to First Nations for distribution by the end of February

Most Read