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Central Island families to benefit from new child care spaces

Central Island families to benefit from new child care spaces

May 19, 2021 at 8:15 am  BC, News, Politics

This backgrounder contains additional information on the eight projects that will create 383 new licensed child care spaces in Lantzville, Port Alberni and Parksville. Of these, 98 spaces are expected to be open by the end of the year.

Uy’sqwalawun Childcare Centre (Lantzville) 

Operated by the Nanoose First Nation, this new facility will create 85 new child care spaces, including 12 spaces for infants and toddlers, 24 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten, 25 spaces for school-age children, and 24 preschool spaces. The facility will feature Hul’q’umi’num language immersion and will offer parenting workshops, including Nobody’s Perfect parenting, Bringing Tradition Home, Circle of Security and Bringing Our Families Together. Completion is expected by September 2022.

Seaview Elementary Learning and Child Care Centre (Lantzville) 

School District No. 68, which is building a new child care facility on the grounds of Seaview Elementary school, will create 52 new child care spaces, including 12 spaces for infants and toddlers, 16 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten and 24 spaces for school-age children. The school district has an English language learning co-ordinator, a settlement worker, and Arabic and Mandarin cultural supports to help children and families. The new facility is expected to be open in fall 2022. 

Oomiiqsu Child Care Centre (Port Alberni) 

BC Housing, under the Women’s Transitional Housing Fund, is partnering with Huu-ay-aht First Nations to create Oomiiqsu — an Aboriginal Mothers’ Centre — that includes the Oomiiqsu Child Care Centre. The centre will create 24 new child spaces for children residing in Oomiiqsu, including eight spaces for infants and toddlers and 16 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten. Oomiiqsu will provide on-site supported housing for 12 families, and 24-hour wraparound supports for mothers and children to address protection concerns, neglect, domestic violence, substance use, mental health, parenting, child care needs, poverty, employment and social/emotional issues in a culturally appropriate and supportive space. Oomiiqsu will also have four transitional housing units. The Oomiiqsu Childcare Centre is expected to be open in September 2023.

Mighty Learners Child Care Centre (Port Alberni) 

Renovations to A.W. Neill Elementary school will create 81 new child care spaces, including eight spaces for infants and toddlers, 16 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten and 57 spaces for school-age children. After-hours programming with community organizations will support family outreach, reduce barriers of access and work collaboratively with family navigators. Mighty Learners will provide culturally responsive programming, be inclusive, support resiliency and have a family-centred approach. The child care centre will be accessible and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The Learning Lab Preschool (Port Alberni) 

Renovations at The Family Hub at E.J. Dunn Elementary school will convert a tennis court at the current preschool site into an accessible outdoor play space and water play area, which will add five (10 part-time) new preschool child care spaces. Renovations are expected to be complete by August 2021.

City of Port Alberni (Port Alberni) 

The City of Port Alberni is partnering with the Community Arts Council to create 66 new child care spaces, including 15 spaces for infants and toddlers, 19 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten, 24 spaces for school-age children and eight spaces for children up to the age of 12. This project will also include 22 additional spaces funded through the Union of B.C. Municipalities. The facility will be located next to the Eighth Ave Learning Centre, which provides alternative and distance-learning opportunities, so families will be able to access the child care facility while attending school. Completion is expected by December 2022.

Craig Street Commons (Parksville) 

Renovations to a former school will create 12 new child care spaces for school-age children. Operated by School District #69, the facility will include a care model that allows for a seamless transition of children to and from child care and classrooms as well as fluid communication between parents, teachers and child care providers. Completion is expected by August 2021.

BGCCVI Parksville Child and Family Centre (Parksville) 

Renovations to the Parksville Community Centre will create 58 new child care spaces, including four for infants and toddlers and 54 for school-age children. An additional 33 spaces will be funded through the Union of B.C. Municipalities, bringing the total number of new child care spaces at the facility to 91. The City of Parksville is partnering with the Boys and Girls Clubs Central Vancouver Island to operate the facility and provide diverse community programming. The centre will be fully accessible, provide transportation for out-of-school care programs and have a new outdoor space. It will open in January 2022.  

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