New family centre in Kelowna will help Central Okanagan families

New family centre open

Madison Erhardt

A new family centre has opened its doors in Kelowna.

Located at the corner of Harvey Avenue and Burtch Road, the facility will help support families in the Central Okanagan through a wide variety of programs. It is run by Kelowna-based not-for-profit society Childhood Connections.

"We are so excited to welcome families in to play and learn and grow with us," said Childhood Connections executive director Melissa Hunt.

The facility features a learning library and toys that can be borrowed and brought home. A maker space is opening in April, followed by a drop-in childcare centre in May.

The drop-in childcare program is the first of its kind in the Okanagan and will be for families who need limited, part-time childcare for any reason, such as attending appointments or waiting for a full-time childcare space to open up.

Children between the ages of 18 months to six years are able to take part in the program.

Launched in 1977, Childhood Connections supports children and the people who care for them. The organization aims to ensure that all children in the Central Okanagan get a healthy start in life.

“We’re so happy to be able to welcome children and families to our new space! Given the pandemic and supply chain challenges, it hasn’t always been an easy journey, but the doors are now open, and we’re thrilled. A lot of care and thought has gone into our new facility to ensure it is an awesome resource and support for our community, and we can’t wait to welcome you to our new home! Stop by and see us," Hunt added.

Hunt says the new space costs them three times as much as their former location.

"We are really looking to the community to support us to have this new space. So we are probably going to be needing an extra $100,000 a year to continue to operate the family centre so just shouting out to the community that the space is beautiful, it is yours and we just need your support to run it."

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