Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
The Town of Ladysmith and BGC Central Vancouver Island are excited to break ground on a major addition to a local childcare building that will create more affordable childcare solutions for families and caregivers.
The BGC Central Vancouver Island has provided licensed child care services at the Town-owned building at 220 High Street for over a decade.
The over 1,000 sq-ft building renovation and improvements to the outdoor play area starting this week is the result of a $875,000 grant received through the Union of BC Municipalities and will facilitate the creation of 12 new infant/toddler spaces.
The Town’s capital works plan had budgeted funds to upgrade the building’s exterior and will complete the exterior work once this expansion is complete to ensure a uniform appearance.
The new amenity enhancements to the interior layout include an open concept main child care area featuring a curved wall window panels allowing for plenty of natural light, a separate nap room, two new washrooms, an office, and front foyer area to welcome families and caregivers.
Additionally, a new accessible playground and appropriate surfacing will be installed and open to the public outside of operating hours.
“This important expansion goes a long way to not only adding much needed additional childcare spaces in Ladysmith, but also improving the quality of care, enjoyment and learning opportunities for all of the children and families who rely on the BGC Central Vancouver Island each day,” said Mayor Aaron Stone. “By expanding and improving the indoor space, as well as the outdoor play area, active little ones in our community will get a chance for a better learning and growing experience during key early years of development.”
Working through the design phase with PHI Architecture, the Town was able to retain several mature trees that are located on the grounds – providing shade protection for the outdoor play area as well as the building.
The trees are visible from the new daycare space and the tree motif is expressed on the interior design with a central peeled Douglas fir post that has ceiling joists radiating from it to suggest tree branches.
“Children are our future and our vision here at BGC Central Vancouver Island is that all children and youth discover and achieve their dreams and grow up to be healthy, successful, and active participants in society. We are excited to be once again collaborating with the Town of Ladysmith to increase much needed childcare spaces at our Ladysmith location,” said BGC Central Vancouver Island Executive Director Karen Love. “We are fortunate to have qualified, caring, and experienced staff who work every day to ensure our littles have the best start in life and build relationships with the families we are fortunate enough to serve. It truly does take a village.”
The improvements to the BGC Central Vancouver Island building and creation of 12 new infant/toddler daycare spaces is a step forward in implementing recommendations contained within the Cowichan Region Child Care Plan adopted by Council in 2020.
The plan determined that infant/toddler spaces should be prioritized for the Cowichan Valley North area, which includes Ladysmith, based on stakeholder feedback, current limited availability and future population projections.
The provision of high quality child care facilitates child development, enables parents to work and contribute to the local economy, strengthens neighbourhoods and helps build more attractive, stable and complete communities.
The BGC Central Vancouver Island is continuing to operate out of the High Street building throughout the construction period.
The project is being managed by MKM Projects Ltd and the anticipated timeline for completion is Fall 2022.