Parents and children who attend the UVic Child Care Services, a program that was under threat but has been marked for $500,000 in provincial funding. Black Press file photo

UVic, Arbutus add combined 92 child care spots

Province’s announcement brings relief to child care crunch

Relief is on the way for the child care crunch in Gordon Head and Queenswood area of Saanich.

The previously threatened child care program at the University of Victoria is getting $500,000 from the province to build a new facility and will increase its numbers by 32 to 116 for next year.

“The funding will allow us to transform Child Care Complex B into two new child care centres, creating 32 new spaces for preschool aged children of UVic students, faculty and staff families,” said Jim Forbes, director of campus services at UVic.

The announcement came Monday that the province is adding 251 new licensed child-care spaces in Greater Victoria, 172 of which are in Saanich, a $2.7 million investment from the province’s Child Care Major Capital Funding Program. It’s part of a $33-million plan to create more than 3,800 child-care spaces in B.C. More than half of the planned 3,800 new spaces in B.C. are at non-profit run centres and a fifth are at Indigenous child-care providers.

Locally, the funding of $174,381 will add 20 preschool places at the Cloverdale Child Care Society, $387,000 to add 60 spaces at Arbutus Grove Nature Program and Out of School Care, $219,137 to add 20 spaces at Kids Klub Torquay, $218,937 for 20 spaces at Kids Klub Northridge, $200,957 for 20 spaces at Kids Klub Braefoot, $12,400 for 12 spaces at the Curious Kids Infant and Toddler Centre, $250,000 to add 15 spaces at the Victoria Montessori Childcare Centre, $388,548 for 24 spaces at the James Bay Infant Plus Daycare Centre and $371,173 for 28 new spaces at the Phoenix Child Care Centre with the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society.

It’s a big addition for Arbutus Grove Children’s Centre, of which 48 of the new spots are out-of-school-care spots for Frank Hobbs elementary students (kindergarten to Grade 5) and 12 are for new nature preschool spots for children three to five.

“It’s 60 new child care spaces that we’re excited about,” said director Lynn Young.

To make room Arbutus is building a new space on Frank Hobbs SD61 land.

Meanwhile construction already started at UVic’s Child Care Complex B in October. The renovations will transform the current large, open, interior space of the 1993-built Complex B into two new child care centres with a shared kitchen and separate exterior entrances.

Around B.C. the province is in the process of working with child-care providers to sign project agreements that include the specific requirements identified for each site, such as property needs (for lease or purchase), local zoning permits and the hiring of contractors to renovate the sites.

“These 251 new spaces are just a start, and we know there’s more work to do,” said Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South.

The new child-care spaces are part of the B.C. government’s long-term goal of implementing universal child care in B.C.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Colwood art centre shuts its doors indefinitely

Board members look for new location when feasible, continue online

Saanich looks to help restaurants increase capacity with outdoor seating

District working to ensure restaurants can make the most of summer weather, mayor says

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Bike lane closed, traffic impacted by landscaping in Metchosin

Construction begins May 25, to be complete by mid-July

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

Most Read