Parents and children who attend the UVic Child Care Services, a program that was under threat but has been marked for $500,000 in provincial funding. Black Press file photo

Parents and children who attend the UVic Child Care Services, a program that was under threat but has been marked for $500,000 in provincial funding. Black Press file photo

UVic, Arbutus add combined 92 child care spots

Province’s announcement brings relief to child care crunch

Relief is on the way for the child care crunch in Gordon Head and Queenswood area of Saanich.

The previously threatened child care program at the University of Victoria is getting $500,000 from the province to build a new facility and will increase its numbers by 32 to 116 for next year.

“The funding will allow us to transform Child Care Complex B into two new child care centres, creating 32 new spaces for preschool aged children of UVic students, faculty and staff families,” said Jim Forbes, director of campus services at UVic.

The announcement came Monday that the province is adding 251 new licensed child-care spaces in Greater Victoria, 172 of which are in Saanich, a $2.7 million investment from the province’s Child Care Major Capital Funding Program. It’s part of a $33-million plan to create more than 3,800 child-care spaces in B.C. More than half of the planned 3,800 new spaces in B.C. are at non-profit run centres and a fifth are at Indigenous child-care providers.

Locally, the funding of $174,381 will add 20 preschool places at the Cloverdale Child Care Society, $387,000 to add 60 spaces at Arbutus Grove Nature Program and Out of School Care, $219,137 to add 20 spaces at Kids Klub Torquay, $218,937 for 20 spaces at Kids Klub Northridge, $200,957 for 20 spaces at Kids Klub Braefoot, $12,400 for 12 spaces at the Curious Kids Infant and Toddler Centre, $250,000 to add 15 spaces at the Victoria Montessori Childcare Centre, $388,548 for 24 spaces at the James Bay Infant Plus Daycare Centre and $371,173 for 28 new spaces at the Phoenix Child Care Centre with the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society.

It’s a big addition for Arbutus Grove Children’s Centre, of which 48 of the new spots are out-of-school-care spots for Frank Hobbs elementary students (kindergarten to Grade 5) and 12 are for new nature preschool spots for children three to five.

“It’s 60 new child care spaces that we’re excited about,” said director Lynn Young.

To make room Arbutus is building a new space on Frank Hobbs SD61 land.

Meanwhile construction already started at UVic’s Child Care Complex B in October. The renovations will transform the current large, open, interior space of the 1993-built Complex B into two new child care centres with a shared kitchen and separate exterior entrances.

Around B.C. the province is in the process of working with child-care providers to sign project agreements that include the specific requirements identified for each site, such as property needs (for lease or purchase), local zoning permits and the hiring of contractors to renovate the sites.

“These 251 new spaces are just a start, and we know there’s more work to do,” said Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South.

The new child-care spaces are part of the B.C. government’s long-term goal of implementing universal child care in B.C.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

February 17, 2021 - Kaelyn (L) and Costin Campbell are Goldstream News Gazette 2021 Local Heroes.
Pint-sized duo inspires others to be green

Costin and Kaelyn Campbell are this year’s Environmental Heroes

Erin Oldman received a scholarship through Royal Roads University (RRU), called the Legacy Award, which is given out once every five years. Oldman graduated from RRU with a Masters of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding, and is using the award to establish a charity called International Humanitarian Assessments, which helps people in war-torn areas of the Middle East. (Photo contributed by Erin Oldman)
Royal Roads University graduate receives $25,000 award

Erin Oldman will use the award to establish a charity in the Middle East

Sandy Carmichael is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Seniors’ Champion. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Worker bee returns to volunteer: Sandy Carmichael a fixture at Langford Royal Canadian Legion

Sandy Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Seniors’ Champion Award

The It’s Critical campaign has raised $5.89 million towards its $7 million goal to expand critical care capacity at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Critical care improvements make the list with Greater Victoria shoppers

Save-On-Foods pledges $300,000 to Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s It’s Critical campaign

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Dasher is back home with mom Christine Girvin thanks to some help from BC Ferries staff. Photo supplied
The cat came back, with help from BC Ferries staff

After Dasher made a dash, staff in Comox found her and got her home safe

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Most Read