The City of Kelowna has received $25 million in provincial and federal grants to create 273 new childcare spaces.
The funding will also help recreational parks and planned wellness facilities.
“The three projects we are looking at now would be the new Mission Activity Centre, the redevelopment of [Parkinson Recreation Centre], and then right here in Glenmore at the new Glenmore Activity Centre, which will be just across the field there," said Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas at the announcement Wednesday.
The daycare spaces will be spread across the three facilities with 91 spaces at each, divided up amongst infant, toddlers, preschool and school aged children.
The city says feedback from residents made it clear a new activity centre was needed in Glenmore, paving the way for a completely new sports field and childcare centre.
“As a board member of Childhood Connections, we get all the phone calls for parents seeking childcare," said Betty Cleland.
"We hear families seeking childcare they are desperate, they need it. It’s not just a want, it’s a need for them. And knowing that there’s more childcare spaces, particularly infant, toddler and school age, which seems to be the greatest need right now in Kelowna, it’s great news for families,” Cleland continued.
Following the opening of the daycare at Kelowna's airport, the Dyas says the is excited to be adding even more spaces, but there’s more work to be done in childcare.
“It's very important... we will continue to advocate and we will continue to work to bring more to the community because I’m certain it could be 1,350 or even 3,000 (spaces) that are truly needed," said Dyas.
"It’s just important from a parental standpoint, growing strong individuals and also allowing people to be able to go to work or go back to school and have that level of comfort that they know their child is being taken care of while they’re advancing in their careers or in their schooling.”
The goal for the province is to add 40,000 childcare spaces throughout B.C. by 2028.
Although the completion date could change, the City of Kelowna says the Glenmore Activity Centre should be ready sometime in 2026, along with the Glenmore Recreation Park, which will include tennis courts, skate parks, a dog park, pickleball courts, a splash zone, a new playground and more.
Earlier this year, the City of Kelowna approved the borrowing of $241 million for the new activity centres in Glenmore and the Mission as well as the replacement of the Parkinson Rec Centre.