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Columbia Basin Trust puts up $2.4 million for child care

Child care providers across the Kootenays are getting a boost from Columbia Basin Trust to increase access to child care and make improvements to their facilities by expanding the number of spaces, strengthening their workforce and making their buildings more energy efficient.

“Everyday, child care providers and early childhood educators help families care for their children and create early learning environments that are essential for healthy development,” Nicole MacLellan, delivery of benefits manager with the Trust said in a news release.

“Having access to quality and affordable care enables parents to work, supports businesses to retain employees, and helps our communities thrive, all of which we heard are important to Basin residents.”

The Trust offers a variety of supports to help child care providers create and maintain accessible and affordable spaces in the area, and recruit and retain qualified early childhood educators. The Trust is providing $2.4 million to:

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  • help create 143 new child care spaces
  • improve the energy efficiency of 347 existing spaces
  • enhance the wages of 234 early childhood educators
  • provide a training wage to 50 early childhood educators and early childhood educator assistants to complete or upgrade their qualifications.

Aiming for lower energy consumption in Creston

In Creston, the Kootenai Community Centre Society is improving the energy efficiency and consumption of the 25-space Teddy Bear Daycare. Activities include upgrading the attic insulation, replacing windows, installing LED lighting, adding a high efficiency heat pump, and installing occupancy sensors.

“The increased efficiency also means lower costs for the organization, which relies solely on parent fees and small grants to operate. We are so grateful for these much-needed improvements,” says executive director Rebecca Gidney. “These upgrades will also promote an updated, more comfortable, improved environment for the children in our care.”

Targeting energy efficiency in Cranbrook

In Cranbrook, Summit Community Services is improving the energy efficiency of the 32-space Little Summit Daycare. Improvements include replacing the front door and windows, installing an energy recovery ventilator, LED lighting, occupancy sensors and solar panels.

“We are excited to be going forward with the renovations for energy improvements over the coming months,” says manager Tara Long. “The improvements will make the building more energy efficient, lower our operating costs, and provide more comfort for the children.”

The full list of projects approved for funding is below.

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Child Care Capital Grants – Energy Improvements 

These projects support the energy conservation and efficiency of child care centres to enhance their quality, retention and sustainability. 

Community  Organization  Description   Improved  Spaces Amount
Castlegar  Blueberry Creek Early Learning Centre Install energy recovery ventilation, heat pump hot water heater, high-efficiency furnaces, LED lighting, occupancy sensors and a solar photovoltaic array. 60  $98,840
Castlegar  Kootenay Family Place – Hobbit Hill Children’s Centre Replace windows, install LED lighting, a high-efficiency furnace and occupancy sensors. 20  $18,860
Castlegar  USSC Children’s Orchard Preschool  Install LED lighting and a high-efficiency heating, ventilation  and cooling system. 15  $16,960
Cranbrook  Summit Community Services – Little Summit Daycare Replace doors and windows, install ERV, LED lighting, occupancy sensors, and a solar PV array. 32  $52,850
Creston  Kootenai Community Centre Society Teddy Bear Daycare Upgrade attic insulation, replace windows, install LED lighting, heat pump and occupancy sensors. 25  $19,780
Nelson  Nelson Waldorf School Childcare Centre Install a heat pump hot water heater.  24  $2,400
Trail  Sunningdale Children’s Centre  Replace window, install a heat pump hot water heater, LED lighting and occupancy sensors. 137  $52,705
Trail  Trail and District Daycare Society – Sunshine Children’s Centre Install an ERV, high-efficiency furnace, LED lighting, occupancy sensors and a solar PV array. 26  $35,320
Winlaw  Appledale Daycare Society  Upgrade attic insulation, replace door, install LED lighting, heat pump and install a solar PV array. $31,480
347  $329,195

 

Child Care Capital Grants – New Spaces 

These projects support the creation of new licensed child care spaces within the Columbia Basin.  

Community  Organization  # New  

Spaces

Amount
Elkford  Alpine Childcare Solutions  48  $20,000
Elkford  Elkford Child Development Society  30  $20,000
Fernie  Bright Beginnings: A Community Preschool  $11,875
Fruitvale  Village of Fruitvale  37  $250,000
Proctor  Seonaid (Erin) Christopherson  $1,000
Revelstoke  Caribou Kids Ltd.  $3,165
Wilmer  Columbia River Valley Rural Roots Society  $5,000
143  $311,040

Early Childhood Educators Support 

These programs help address the shortage of Early Childhood Educators (ECE) by supporting the  recruitment and retention of ECEs in the Basin by providing training and wage subsidies for licensed  child care facilities; both are administered by the College of the Rockies. 

Community  Project Name  Description  Amount
Basin-Wide  Early Childhood  Educator Training Wage Program Provides a training wage to 50 early childhood educator assistants and certified early childhood educators to date, employed by licensed child care facilities in the Columbia Basin, to support them  to complete and/or upgrade their early childhood educator qualifications. $601,330
Basin-Wide  Early Childhood Educator Wage Subsidy Program Provides a wage subsidy to support the recruitment and retention of 234 early childhood educators employed by licensed child care facilities in the region. $1,125,010
$1,726,340
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