Jul 24, 2020

Town of Ladysmith, BGCCVI receive $875,000 grant to create new childcare spaces

The Town of Ladysmith is collaborating with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island (BGCCVI) to create new child care spaces after receiving an $875,000 grant from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).

The provincial funding provides direct support for local young families by creating 12 infant/toddler spaces in our community.

“Parents shouldn’t have to worry about finding affordable and local childcare options and these new spaces, in addition to those recently announced for the Nanaimo-Ladysmith Public Schools, help to directly address a critical shortage facing our community,” said Mayor Aaron Stone.  “This investment provides long-term solutions by improving access to care while at the same time making the necessary enhancements to the existing facility.” 

The new childcare spaces are being created at the BGCCVI’s Ladysmith location at 220 High Street.   The grant program requires the municipality own the building where the spaces are being created and enter into a 15-year commitment with the province to deliver child care to the community.

In the future, the Town will complete an 800 sq-ft addition to current building and install a new playground in order to accommodate the increased level of service delivery.

“BGCCVI identified growth as part of our long-term strategic priorities and the expansion of the childcare spaces in Ladysmith is helping us to achieve that goal while also providing quality and affordable childcare,” said Karen Love, Executive Director, BGCCVI.

The provincial funding will also provide opportunities for professional training for BGCCVI staff.

On Tuesday, the Cowichan Region Child Care Plan and a list of recommendations for improving access to child care were presented to Ladysmith Council at its virtual meeting.

Consultant Malatest completed the report on behalf of Cowichan municipalities – engaging with local stakeholders and residents, completing an inventory of current coverage rates, and identifying gaps and barriers for accessing necessary care.   

The plan was funded through a $125,000 grant from the UBCM and provides a 10-year strategy for the Town of Ladysmith and our partners.

Among the plan’s recommendations is the expansion of child care coverage in the Cowichan Valley North area, which includes Ladysmith.  Infant/toddler spaces should be prioritized based on stakeholder feedback, current limited availability and future population projections.

The creation of 12 new infant/toddler spaces at the BGCCVI is an important first step in implementing recommendations from the Cowichan Region Child Care Plan.

For the latest news and updates visit the Town’s website at www.ladysmith.ca, as well as FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

You can also receive up-to-date information in your email inbox by subscribing to the Town’s newsletter.

For the latest Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island news visit https://www.bgccvi.com/ as well as FacebookTwitter and Instagram.