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Province announces 450 new child care spaces for the Okanagan

450 new child care spaces are coming to the Okanagan, according to the B.C. Government. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Families in the Okanagan will soon have access to nearly 450 new licensed child care spaces.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development says the new spaces are part of the provincial government’s commitment to increasing access to child care.

“Good, affordable child care gives kids a head start on learning and gives parents more options when raising their families,” said Harwinder Sandhu, Vernon-Monashee’s MLA.

“I remember the challenges I faced as a single mother raising my kids and struggling to find child care. I truly appreciate how much it can change things for a family.”

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The new child care spaces are being divided into four communities:

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  • Kelowna (37 spaces)
  • Lake Country (81 spaces)
  • Penticton (77 spaces)
  • Vernon (253 spaces)
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“These new child care spaces for families in the Okanagan are bringing us one step closer to delivering the quality, affordable and inclusive child care that all B.C. families deserve,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. 

“Child care for families is key to B.C.’s economic recovery, and these new spaces will make it easier for parents, especially mothers who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, to return to work or school.”

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The spaces are being funded by the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, as the government has chosen eight projects to create the 448 spots.

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According to the province, these spaces are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history. 

Since July 2018, more than 20,000 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in British Columbia, including 241 spaces in Kelowna, 214 in Lake Country, 85 in Penticton and 404 in Vernon.

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