Columbia Basin Trust
Many families in the Columbia Basin rely upon child care. To help meet this need for quality spaces, 67 child care providers in 24 communities will be creating up to 198 new spaces and improving 1,256 spaces. These projects are being undertaken with nearly $1.4 million from Columbia Basin Trust’s Child Care Capital Grants.
“People in the Basin have expressed how critical the child care situation can be. Since 2017, we’ve helped 150 providers create 436 new spaces and purchase equipment or upgrade facilities to improve 2,977 existing spaces,” said Johnny Strilaeff, President and Chief Executive Officer, Columbia Basin Trust. “These numbers are even higher than we’d anticipated, possibly because we worked alongside the providers to help create the best applications possible that also attracted funding from the Province. Through their projects, these providers have really stepped up to tackle families’ child care needs in the Basin.”
In addition to the grants, the Trust also provided support to help train 116 early childhood educators. Plus, it partnered with Kootenay Kids Society to provide an advisor who helped 91 providers find solutions to common business challenges, especially on the subject of applying for grants. Trust staff also helped develop project ideas and referred consultants when needed.
“As a former ECE, I know what a difference quality child care makes to kids and families in the Basin, but too many parents have been struggling to find a space that works for them,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West and the Minister of Children and Family Development. “Columbia Basin Trust should be commended for their continued support for local child care providers. By working together to bring child care closer to home, we are giving parents the option to return to work or school, knowing that their kids have a safe, nurturing environment to take their first steps on a path to lifelong learning.”
The Dragonfly Discovery Centre in Invermere is a good example of a provider who took advantage of the many avenues of support the Trust could offer. With significant input from Trust staff and consultants, it developed a project to accommodate up to 72 children per day by purchasing and renovating a building with a large yard.
“We have a wait list and receive calls regularly from parents asking for help finding infant/toddler spaces but can’t add a program for this age group in our existing location,” said owner Charlotte Streicek. “We have now found the perfect location in the hub of the Columbia Valley and will soon be able to help meet this critical need. The new daycare can also meet the essential need for elementary school-age children, with schools located within walking distance. I could not have come this far without the continued support from Columbia Basin Trust’s staff.”
Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org or call 1.800.505.8998.