Families in the Lantzville area stand to benefit as the B.C. government has announced funding partnerships for more than 130 new licensed child care spaces there.
According to a press release, Lantzville will see 137 spaces in total, with 85 going to the Snaw-Naw-As First Nation-run Uy’sqwalawun Childcare Centre and 52 going to a child care centre at Seaview Elementary School, where a centre is being built by Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools.
Uy’sqwalawun Childcare Centre will see 25 spaces for school-age children, 24 for children between three years and kindergarten age, 24 spaces for pre-school-aged children and 12 spaces for infants and toddlers. It will feature Hul’q’umi’num language immersion and offer workshops for parents, the press release said.
The Seaview school facility, anticipated to open in fall 2022, will see 24 spaces for school-aged children, 16 for three years-K and 12 for infants and toddlers. The school district will have an English language learning coordinator, a settlement worker and Arabic and Mandarin cultural supports, the press release said.
“By increasing child-care spaces here on central Vancouver Island, we are ensuring that more families can receive high-quality and inclusive child care that supports their child’s healthy development,” said Adam Walker, Parksville-Qualicum MLA, in the release. “As we have seen throughout COVID-19, affordable child care is an important part of our province’s economy and this latest investment will help us recover from the pandemic stronger.”
Katrina Chen, B.C. minister of state for child care, said in the release that quality, affordable child care is “life-changing” for families.
“As we continue to build toward an inclusive universal child care system, these new spaces will make it easier for parents, especially mothers, to pursue their own goals while being part of B.C.’s economic recovery,” Chen said.