Vernon School District part of provincial program to add more child care spaces in the district

New child care spaces

The Vernon School District will be adding their input on child care on school grounds to the government.

Along with West Vancouver and Peace River North, School District 22 has been participating in a project that will serve to inform the Ministry of Education and Child Care on policies, funding and processes with respect to all levels of childcare on school grounds.

This is a result of the $2.4 million grant to facilitate the development of child care on school grounds.

In the current year, SD22 has grown from one ministry-funded Seamless Day program and four StrongStart programs in 21/22 and 22/23 to two Seamless Day programs that are filled to capacity and have had to be doubled in terms of licensed spaces and one JB4 (Just Be 4) program.

Under the $2.4M Integrated Inquiry Project grant, SD 22 has opened one after-school program at BX Elementary School - that had to be doubled before it opened in September - and four pre-school programs, in addition to opening four new child care modulars offering after-school care at the district’s four most vulnerable communities.

SD 22 is anticipating opening two more after-school programs in two more communities in the upcoming year based on community need and viability.

Lavington and Silver Star elementary schools are being considered for the programs.

District officials are also in process of securing funding, and building two new child-care spaces on school grounds that will provide spaces for infant/toddler and three to five year olds and will be operated by the SD 22 Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) team.

“We are leading the way for inclusion as a component of supporting child care on school grounds – particularly in the school-age care programs where community and students of diverse needs are prioritized for child care services within the catchment area of the program,” said Assistant Supt. Katherine Oviatt. “This is groundbreaking work that is a challenge for families and districts across the province and is currently serving our children and families in SD 22.”

SD 22 is leading some innovative practices that have been highlighted at the provincial level.

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