Submitted by the village of Canal Flats
The village of Canal Flats will soon be the site of a new state of the art licensed child care facility.
Thanks to generous funding from the Union of BC Municipalities’ Community Child Care Space Creation Program and the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development’s Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, as well as a gift of land from Columbia Lake Holdings Ltd., this project will become reality in Canal Flats.
The grants – $970,000 from UBCM and $639,000 from MCFD – will cover 100 per cent of the construction and set up costs of the yet unnamed centre. Columbia Lake Holdings Ltd. has committed to gift .25 acres of land to the Village and the Village has signed a letter of intent to work with Tamson Developments Inc. on the construction of the centre.
“This is an absolutely great day for the village of Canal Flats,” said village mayor Karl Sterzer. “Licensed child care is a proven major need in our community. Mayor Sterzer added “The village has set an ambitious target to get our population back up to 1,000 people and an amenity like this will only help us reach these goals.”
“Making sure parents have access to quality, affordable child care close to home is critical to helping families flourish and economies grow,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “We are so proud to support the construction of this new child care facility in Canal Flats that will provide local children with a foundation for lifelong learning for many years to come.”
The centre is being designed with flexibility in mind and will accommodate infants, toddlers, and after school care for kids.
The centre will be fully licensed and, once up and running, able to offer provincial child care subsidies to parents to help offset costs.
In return for the funding of the new centre, the village has committed to operating the centre for at least 15 years. Financial projections for the centre, and the known need for child care in Canal Flats and the Columbia Valley, including a village of Canal Flats Child care needs assessment completed earlier in 2020, indicate that the centre should operate as a break even service.
Planning on the child care centre is underway and it will be located near the Grainger Road and Burns Avenue intersection in Canal Flats. Construction is expected to begin in early August and the facility open in fall, 2021.
The centre will be designed around inclusivity and, when open, will offer specialty services to new parents and families of new Canadians, celebrate local Indigenous culture, and offer supports for children who may be in need of it.
The village of Canal Flats would like to thank all of the people and organizations who have helped get this project to this stage. We look forward to a successful project and child care centre in Canal Flats.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash