The Regional District of North Okanagan received $2.16 million in funding from the Child Care BC New Spaces Fund, which is supported by the federal government.
The funding was announced Thursday at Lumby’s Whitevalley Community Resource centre. The money will be used to build a new childcare centre for the Lumby area.
RDNO is partnering with the community centre who will operate the new facility.
It will have a capacity for 54 childcare spaces. The community's existing 39 spaces will transfer to the new centre, meaning 15 new spaces will become available.
The centre is currently in the design phase and construction is expected to begin sometime in 2024.
Vernon Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandu was in Lumby to announce the funds. She spoke about her own experience needing childcare help after her first husband died.
“Having two little girls and having to worry about keeping a roof over our head and food on the table. But the challenge was how to find childcare, and if you do find childcare it wasn't affordable. And so that journey was tough, that journey was discouraging,” said Sandu.
Saying her mom stepped in to help her, but she knows not everyone is as lucky. Which is why the government needs to step up.
Mayor of Lumby and RDNO board chair Kevin Acton says, “Lumby is growing, and that growth includes many young families. The new spaces will ideally be located in the heart of community, and support families well into the future.
Acton also said many Lumby families have been driving as far as Vernon to find childcare.
The centre is expected to remain close to, or attached to, the Whitevalley Community Centre. The details will be determined during the design phase.