Parents rally to demand more child-care spaces in Kelowna, B.C. – Okanagan

Some parents in Kelowna, British Columbia, have struggled to find childcare in the city and have been dealing with a difficult reality over the past few months.

Parents who continue to search for solutions to the current crisis gathered on Monday night.

Many parents in Kelowna have been desperate to call attention to the state of childcare in the city after it was announced in January that Building Block Educare on Gordon Drive would close this June.

“Our nursery school closed within two months with little notice to parents. families have absolutely no place to go for their children,” said concerned parent Belinda Hardy.

Hardy says her family was lucky. Both of her children were accepted into another daycare in the city.

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Families are looking for both short and long term options. Parenting in Kelowna has taken a hit in recent months.

“Since late December to date, more than 300 childcare spaces have closed for a variety of reasons,” said Melissa Hunt Anderson, executive director of the Childhood Connection Society. “Building Blocks is one of the biggest But with other blocks nearby, it’s an unfortunate pattern and we’re seeing more of it in this community.”

“This city has been Canada’s fastest growing city in the last five years and a lot has not kept up. It’s the one at the heart,” said parent Andrew. king.

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Supporters have come to Childhood Connections centers to rally for solutions to the current crisis. They want the Ministry of Education and Child Care to recognize the problem and develop a plan.

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Kelowna-West MLA Ben Stewart says action is needed to attract more workers to the area.

“We need more early childhood educators. Of course, the high cost of living not just here in the Okanagan state but across the state means that they are getting fair wages and that they are attracted to the job. We need to make sure,” Stewart said.

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Just like my parents put up signs on cars passing the highway. 97 They wanted not only to raise awareness among Kelowna residents, but also to draw attention to the local government.

That will change the policy of new nursery schools in the city and lead to more places for children.

Hardy said a “streamlined” process is needed. “There are huge waiting lists for licenses and huge bottlenecks to improving facilities, all of which can be mitigated with the help of the City and Interior Health.”

As the number of available daycare spaces dwindles, more parents say they have to leave the workforce, which can lead to gaps in certain areas across the Okanagan.

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