Advertisement

NDP leader John Horgan visits new Penticton child care site

Click to play video 'BC NDP leader John Horgan visits new child care site in Penticton' BC NDP leader John Horgan visits new child care site in Penticton
The new care centre replaces the Edmonton Avenue Centre at the Penticton Safety Village, adding 116 additional child care spaces to the area.

B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan visited the site of a new child care facility in Penticton on Saturday.

The new care centre will replace the Edmonton Avenue Centre at the Penticton Safety Village.

In partnership with the city, OneSky Community Resources will lead the design, construction and operation of the new building.

The new centre will add an additional 115 child care spaces in Penticton.

“For us it’s a no brainer, the pandemic has shown us it’s not a social policy but an economic policy,” said John Horgan, BC’s NDP leader.

“This project is so incredibly important for Penticton.”

Read more: City of Penticton granted funding to build new facility to address child care crisis

Story continues below advertisement

Child care in the Okanagan has been a major issue for years — many within the industry have said a shortage in the labour force is the root of the problem.

Some waitlists, especially for infant-toddler programs, total two years and other operators have closed waitlists because they are already too long.

Horgan says if he is elected again — he will work to find a solution.

“We got to compensate appropriately, we got to train quickly, that means creating the spaces in our colleges and universities, and we need to build out our child care,” Horgan told Global News on Saturday.

“We have to find more spaces.”

Read more: B.C. election 2020: NDP Leader John Horgan looks to make history in midst of pandemic

The city has received $2.9 million to build the new facility at the Penticton Safety Village — Penticton is one of the 35 communities that have received funding to construct new licensed child care spaces through the Childcare BC program.

The City of Penticton has said staff will be compiling data on child care shortages in the city and will present the findings to council in December.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video 'B.C. election 2020: Liberals and NDP enter race for child care votes' B.C. election 2020: Liberals and NDP enter race for child care votes
B.C. election 2020: Liberals and NDP enter race for child care votes