City of Kamloops using provincial grant to open 36-space day care for kids of city employees

City builds day care for staff

The City of Kamloops is using cash from the province to build a new 36-space child care centre for kids of municipal employees.

The municipality has received a grant from the province’s ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund for the build and has tapped the non-profit Saltair Childcare Society to operate the facility, which will be built in Station Plaza at 510 Lorne St.

Construction has already begun on the facility, which has an anticipated grand opening scheduled for Aug. 1, according to a city press release.

Municipal employees will have priority access to the service, but will pay market rates as the centre’s operations will not be subsidized through municipal property taxes. The release did not disclose the amount of the grant the city received for the project.

Spots that go unfilled by city-employed parents will be available tot he general public.

The centre will have 12 spaces for children aged 0 to 30 months and 24 spaces for children aged 30 months to school age.

“With the much-appreciated ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund, offering access to child care is now a cost-effective way for the city to maintain and attract the workforce we need to provide core services to Kamloops residents,” Colleen Quigley, the city’s human resources and safety director said.

“As we work to assess and meet the needs of city employees, the needs of the broader community have been a key consideration. Spots unfilled by city employees will be available to other families in the community, and the overall increase in local child care capacity is a win for everyone.”

According to the city, an employee needs assessment showed that 45 per cent of respondents with children had issues finding child care in the city, while anecdotal reports showed some staff who turned down promotions, turned down shifts, had spouses who wanted to be working but couldn’t or who were currently on parental leave and didn’t know how they would be able to return to work due to lack of child care access.

The city has a community working group that has been assessing overall child care needs in Kamloops for years and is continuing to partner where it can to help address broader capacity needs, including policies like the commercial daycare revitalization tax exemption bylaw passed in 2022.

The contact list for the Lorne Street Child Care Centre will be managed entirely by Saltair Childcare Society. Any questions about the child care service should be directed to [email protected].

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