Families in Parksville and region will soon have access to 91 new licensed childcare spaces, to be located in the Parksville Community Centre (PCC) for a minimum of 15 years.
The city was awarded a grant for $2,034,829 from the provincial government to complete renovations to the PCC to facilitate the new childcare spaces and community programming, according to a media release from the City of Parksville. It will partner with Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island (BGCCVI) to operate the BGCCVI Parksville Child, Youth and Family Centre.
The province will fund 58 new spaces and the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) will fund 33 spaces. Renovations will begin in the fall and the facility is scheduled to open in January 2022, according to the city. The PCC is currently being operated by Island Health as a COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
“This past year has been challenging for parents impacted by the pandemic and the new accessible and available childcare spaces will help ease the strain for families with young children in our community and support the transition to return to work,” said Mayor Ed Mayne.
BGCCVI provides programming for children, youth, and families to enhance physical health, social competence and emotional maturity to decrease vulnerabilities in children, according to the city’s release.
“BGCCVI is proud to partner with the City of Parksville to bring much needed services for children, youth and families to the area. We look forward to communicating our plans with the community which go beyond childcare,” said Karen Love, executive director of BGCCVI.
The city said 54 of the spaces will be for school age children and 37 will be for children below school age.
BGCCVI offers several curricula based and facilitated parent education programs including Parents Together, Parents Without Power Struggles and Parents in the Know.
The centre will be fully accessible, provide transportation for out-of-school care programs with two new buses and new multi-purpose outdoor play spaces for all ages. The city said efforts will be made to accommodate appropriate community partner programs during non-operating hours.
The BGCCVI Parksville Child, Youth and Family Centre will be open weekdays from 7.30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., although program hours may be changed or extended based on community need, according to the city.