The provincial government has announced funding for a total of 182 new childcare spaces in the Comox Valley.
There will be a total of 32 spaces in Comox, at Providence Living Society’s new facility, Joyful Journeys. These spaces will be alloted as follows: eight infant-toddler, 24 2.5 years to kindergarten age.
The Joyful Journeys facility is under construction. Once it opens, the Comox Valley Children’s Daycare Society will hold the licence.
“It’s projected to be open in one and a half to two years,” said CVCDCS senior manageer Charlene Gray. “We have one master list for all of our programs (four at Tigger Too, and Aspen Grove Children’s Centre, in Comox; one in Courtenay, at Lighthouse Early Learning). We have people go on our list as soon as they find out they are pregnant. Knowing that they don’t need care for two years, that’s totally fine. So when a spot becomes available, we go to the top of the list, make sure it’s the centre they want… we want it to be very fair.”
The 150 Courtenay spaces will be split evenly between Arden Elementary Childcare, and Glacier View Childcare. Each location receives funding for 12 infant-toddler, 16 2.5 years to kindergarten age, and 47 school age children.
School District 71 said details regarding application for the new spaces will be forthcoming.
“It’s too early in this process for any sort of waiting lists to be created,” said Comox Valley Schools, in a statement send to the Record. “Many details still need to be confirmed. Site operators will be responsible for creating lists of people needing child care for each location.”
“We know that families need more child care spaces, and we’re responding by investing even more in affordable, accessible care,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “Our government’s historic push towards accessible child care creates more opportunities for people in our community. Coupled with the $10 a Day spaces announced earlier this year, these new spaces will help families in the Comox Valley feel confident that their young children have access to quality early learning.”