Northwestern B.C. families to benefit from new child care spaces
This backgrounder contains additional information on five projects that will create 236 new licensed child care spaces – 167 of which are expected to be open by the end of the year– in Kitimat, Kitwanga, Prince Rupert, Smithers and Terrace.
Wo’umxhl Simalgyex Daycare (Kitwanga)
The Gitwangak (Kitwanga) Band Council is building a modular child care centre that will create 51 new licensed child care spaces, including 12 spaces for infants and toddlers, 10 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten and 29 school-age spaces. The centre has a daily Elder in residence visitor for traditional values and language learning. The playground will include a food garden and a small smokehouse. The centre will create employment opportunities for community members and the Band will financially support members to obtain their early childhood education certification. The centre is set to open by the end of the year.
Haisla Youth Centre (Kitimat)
The Haisla First Nation is building a youth centre that will include 53 new licensed child care spaces for school-age children. The child care centre will work closely with the Haisla Health Centre to bring dental, hygiene, safe practices and counselling to children and families. The centre is expected to open by the end of the year.
Sunnyside Child Care Centre (Prince Rupert)
The School District #52 Board of Education is renovating an old music room at the Booth Memorial School building to create 45 before- and after-school spaces for school-age children. The school, which is no longer in use and is now home to the Sunnyside Child Care Centre, currently offers 23 licensed child care spaces for toddlers and school-age children. The additional child care spaces will be available this fall.
Witsuwit’en Child and Family Center (Smithers)
The Kyah Wiget Education Society is expanding its child care centre to add 59 new licensed child care spaces, including eight spaces for infants and toddlers, 16 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten, 15 preschool spaces and 20 school-age spaces. The centre has adopted the BC First Nations Head Start Program, which focuses on culture and language, education, health promotion, nutrition, parent and family involvement, and social support. The facility offers the Language Nest, an Indigenous-language program, and each educator has taken on the challenge of becoming a fluent language speaker. The new spaces are expected to be available in early 2022.
Caterpillars Childcare Centre (Terrace)
Caterpillars Childcare Centre will create 18 new licensed child care spaces, including eight spaces for infants and toddlers and 10 school-age spaces. The new space will include accessibility features, such as furniture, tables, sensory play and quiet zones, as well as culturally diverse programming and toys. The centre will also host nutrition workshops and will work with support workers, including occupational therapists and speech and language consultants. The centre is expected to open this fall.
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