A significant expansion to the largest of only three licensed child care facilities in Osoyoos will mean that local parents will not need to drive to nearby towns to find quality care for their children.
“The early years of life are critical in the development and future well-being of children,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “Our government is pleased to work with the Government of British Columbia to help families access high-quality early learning and child care so more children and parents have the support they need.”
The Town of Osoyoos is receiving $900,000 to add 18 new licensed child care spaces to the Osoyoos Child Care Centre, the first expansion since the centre opened more than 20 years ago. It will allow the centre to add eight spaces for infants and toddlers, and 10 for children aged three years to kindergarten. This expansion will take the total number of spaces to 61, an increase of more than 40%.
“We believe access to licensed, good quality child care is something that all B.C. parents deserve. It should not matter if you live in a large or small community,” said Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister of Children and Family Development. “This project is an excellent example of what can be achieved when you mix federal and provincial funding with municipal planning and local know-how. It is what the future of child care can look like, and I know it can’t come soon enough for parents.”
The Osoyoos Child Care Centre has strong relationships with community organizations, which it uses to connect families to local wraparound services. Parents who are new to Canada can access supports like language classes through the South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services Society, while links to the local Supported Child Development Centre will help families who have children with extra support needs to fully participate in the centre’s programs.
“The Town of Osoyoos is delighted to learn of this new partnership grant for the Osoyoos Child Care Centre,” said Sue McKortoff, mayor of the Town of Osoyoos. “The money will be used for the expansion of this local facility to allow 18 more spaces for infants, toddlers and pre-kindergarten children. Investing in early childhood education and care is a priority need of our young families. Expansion of these facilities assists in providing needed quality of life services that make our community an attractive place to work and live.”
More families and seniors in Keremeos will have an affordable place to call home thanks to a partnership between the Province and the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society.
“People shouldn’t be forced to leave the communities they call home to find the affordable housing they need,” said Premier John Horgan. “That is why we are working hard to build affordable homes in Keremeos and other small, hardworking communities throughout British Columbia.”
The Lower Similkameen Community Services Society is receiving $4.1 million from the Province’s Building BC: Community Housing Fund to build 41 much-needed new homes for people with low to moderate incomes. Projected monthly rental rates will range between $375 and $1,440.
“Through the Community Housing Fund, we are addressing gaps in the market, creating the types of homes that people can afford – from growing families to seniors on fixed incomes,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “And our progress to date has been made possible because of the commitment of partners like Lower Similkameen Community Services Society.”
Located at 715 7th St., the proposed project will be designed to include one-, two- and three-bedroom units, including several accessible homes. The three-storey building will also have commercial space on the ground floor for the society’s community service programs and offices.
“The Village of Keremeos very much appreciates the investment the Province is making to provide for more affordable housing in Keremeos,” said Manfred Bauer, mayor, Village of Keremeos.