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City of Vernon looking into childcare facility funding

Vernon City Hall
November 26, 2018 - 4:45 PM

VERNON - Vernon city council tabled a discussion about childcare funding for their first meeting in the new year.

At today's, Nov. 26, meeting, council heard about the new Childcare B.C. program, which is focused on increasing the quality, accessibility, and quantity of childcare facilities in the province.

Michelle Kirby with Childcare B.C. led a presentation on the new funding program. Millions of dollars are being made available to local governments to build new childcare facilities on government-owned properties.

There are three separate funding avenues in the provincial program, which has been allocated $1 billion over three years.

Local governments can apply for funding from the Community Child Care Space Creation program and the Community Child Care Planning program. Both programs have application deadlines of Jan. 18, 2019.

The third funding avenue is the Childcare B.C. New Spaces Fund and there is no set deadline to apply for this fund.

Kirby said after an application is accepted, the expectation is that shovels will be in the ground within four months, although there is some flexibility with the start date.

She fielded councillors' questions about funding deadlines. Several councillors expressed concerns about changes to the program if the provincial government were to change midway through construction of a childcare facility. Council asked administration to research the funding and write a report on potential risks, costs, and outcomes.

The report will be presented at the first council meeting of 2019 on Jan. 7. After a discussion on the funding, the city will have 11 days to submit a funding application if they wish to do so.

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