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Funding announced for nearly 800 new child-care spaces in Okanagan: B.C. government

Children's backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in B.C. On Tuesday, the province announced that it is funding 794.5 new licensed child-care spaces for five communities in the Southern Interior. Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press

Funding for nearly 800 licensed child-care spaces for five communities in B.C.’s Southern Interior was announced by the provincial government on Tuesday.

The province says it is supporting 12 projects to create 794.5 new licensed child-care spaces, with most of them — 778 — being in the Okanagan. The remaining 16 are slated for a community in the Similkameen region.

According to the province, more than 100 spaces are expected to open by the fall, which will allow “more parents in the Okanagan will be able to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.”

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New child care spaces are en route for the following communities:

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  • Kelowna (567)
  • West Kelowna (92)
  • Penticton (95.5)
  • Osoyoos (24)
  • Hedley (16)

“As we enter the fourth year of our 10-year Childcare BC plan, thousands of families are already feeling the life-changing impact of having affordable, quality and inclusive child care,” said Katrina Chen, B.C.’s Minister of State for Child Care.

“As we continue to build towards an inclusive universal child care system, these new spaces will make it easier for parents, especially mothers, to pursue their own goals, while also being part of B.C.͛s economic recovery.”

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“Penticton Indian Band is excited to be one of the successful recipients of the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to construct a new daycare in the Penticton Indian Band community,” added PIB education director Kathy Pierre.

“The daycare is a welcomed opportunity to provide quality child care for families in the Penticton area and will be open to anyone looking for affordable and reliable daycare.”

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The province says since 2018, it has funded almost 26,000 new licensed spaces since the launch of Childcare BC, more than 6,000 of which are now open.

Of those 26,000 new spaces, they include 824 in Kelowna, 323 in West Kelowna, 197 in Penticton and 31 in Osoyoos and Oliver.

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