It will be easier than ever for students with children to find child care at North Island College in the coming years, thanks to a three million funding announcement from the provincial government.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development announced May 19 that it will fund 75 new licensed child care spaces for the Beaufort Children’s Centre located at NIC.
“We are grateful for this funding, which will make it much easier for our students, employees and community members to find high-quality child care,” said Colin Fowler, NIC’s vice president of finance and facilities. “We are still waiting on other funding for the project before we can announce full details, but it’s very exciting to be at this point in the project.”
The three million in funding will provide spaces for three to five-year-olds, children under three as well as before and after school spaces.
“There is a huge need for more child care spaces in the Comox Valley, along with an even greater need for qualified early childhood educators to run these programs,” said Amanda Peters, executive co-ordinator of Beaufort. “Our waiting list sits at around 200 for under-threes and our three to five-year-old waitlist sits at around 220 and they grow every week.”
The ministry said in a media release that it is supporting a total of 190 new licensed child-care spaces in Courtenay (75), Campbell River (30) and Cumberland (85).
“Families in the Comox Valley, especially students and staff at North Island College, will soon have even more options for child care,” Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox, said in the release. “Bringing 75 new spaces to the college will give both parents and their young children even better learning opportunities that will benefit our entire community for generations.”