Penticton breaking ground on new 116-space child care facility to address desperate need

116 more child care spaces

A much-needed new child care facility in Penticton is breaking ground this Monday.

Construction of the new facility on Edmonton Avenue, which will provide 116 licensed child care spaces when it opens in September 2022. Two buildings in Kiwanis Park that have reached the end of their lives will be demolished to make way.

"On behalf of city council, I’m pleased that construction of this much needed facility is getting underway,” said Penticton Mayor, John Vassilaki.

“Space for childcare in Penticton has long out-paced demand leading to challenging circumstances for families and employers. With the opening of this new facility now certain, parents and caregivers across Penticton will have more options than before and increased assurances as a result.”

The Penticton Child Care Action Plan, established in 2021, identified that the city will require at least 722 net new spaces over the next ten years to meet demand.

Parents in the city have long faced barriers to finding spots for their children, leading one to start what she called "The Waitlisted Project" in 2019, which made its way via local MP Richard Cannings to the House of Commons floor.

Amanda Burnett collects stories from parents all over British Columbia who are struggling to get back to work due to no available and affordable child care spaces.

This new child care space in Penticton will go some of the way to addressing an ongoing need.

"We are excited to collaborate with the City of Penticton to establish a new purpose-built child care centre,” said OneSky executive director, Tanya Behardien. OneSky is the city's partner in the facility to operate and manage it.

“The expanded child care spaces will help more families have access to quality, affordable and inclusive child care. Access to child care supports the early learning and healthy development of children, and helps parents make educational pursuits or workforce participation a reality.”

The city has contributed the land through a 60-year lease. The provincial government contributed the majority of funding with a $2.95 million capital grant.

During the public engagement process for the facility, an overwhelming 97.9 per cent of the respondents were in support.

For more information on the project, click here.

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