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Major grant allows Fanny Bay child care facility to triple its capacity


Beachcombers Education Society, which operates out of Fanny Bay, has been awarded nearly $2,025,000 from the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund to expand the Little Oysters Child Care.

The non-profit, which operates a kindergarten to Grade 7 school and child care facility in Fanny Bay will be more than tripling its child care capacity, adding 36 spots for a total capacity of 52 child care spots, as well as adding capacity for 16 group multi-age care spots.

“We are thrilled,” said Little Oysters Child Care manager Kathy Fredrikson. “In recent years, we have had parents in tears when there wasn’t a spot available for their child. We operate a nature-inspired enriched pre-kindergarten program that is very popular.”

The BC government, with support from the federal government, is increasing child care spaces throughout the province, using the New Spaces Fund and reducing fees to parents through the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (CCFRI).

“As a facility participating in the CCFRI, we have been able to reduce fees to parents by 30 per cent in the past two years,” said Zoe Lambert, Beachcombers Education Society president. “This has been a huge help to parents. We are already seeing a real benefit to children and families as a result of this government initiative.”

“This expanded child care space is a much-needed support for families in the Comox Valley and North Qualicum communities,” said Minister of State for Child Care, Mitzi Dean. “With reliable child care, working families can feel secure, while also strengthening the local economy. It’s a win for families and the whole community.”

“The opportunity for Little Oysters Child Care to expand their facility is a victory in so many ways,” said Jenna Sudds, federal minister of families, children and social development. “These new spaces will make a significant difference for families in the community and provide an enriching environment for their children to play, learn, and grow.

“Today’s announcement is an excellent example of our united effort to provide access to high-quality and inclusive regulated child care while also providing parents with significant savings.”

The Little Oysters Child Care expansion is in early stages, with most of the work planned to be completed in the summer of 2024, but being fully completed by September 2025.

“This is an ambitious project, and while it sounds like a sizable budget, we are doing a lot within a tight budget,” said Lambert.

Beachcombers Education Society is also contributing an additional $225,000 to the project which is a stipulation of the funding.

“It will be a beautiful space for children, with ocean views in our lovely location,” added Lambet. “We are excited!”

The Little Oysters Child Care is now accepting registration.

“We have only a couple of the current child care spaces available for the 2024-2025 school year, but we will be wait-listing students, and will be able to accommodate more families when the expansion is completed. We encourage interested families to register early,” said Fredrickson.

For more information about the Little Oysters Child Care, visit