Parents in Terrace will have access to more than 100 new childcare spaces by next September.
The former ET Kenny Primary School building is getting a substantial $3 million upgrade to accommodate 102 childcare spaces. Coast Mountain Children’s Society operates child care services out of the building.
“These are exciting times for our childcare centre as well as our entire community,” said Sonia Hunt, Coast Mountain Children’s Society executive director in a media release.
“This project would not be able to happen without the hard work of our in-class teachers and support staff.”
Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund is supporting Coast Mountains School District 82 and Coast Mountain Children’s Society in the project, which is expected to be completed in September 2021. The province does concede that due to the COVID-19 pandemic child care capital builds may experience delays.
Of the 102 new spaces, 12 will be for infants and toddlers, 20 for children aged three years to kindergarten, 10 for pre-school and the remaining 60 spaces are for school-aged children.
“These new spaces in Terrace demonstrate our ongoing commitment to make life better for B.C. families and will allow more parents to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities, strengthening both the community and economy,” said Katrine Conroy, minister of children and family development in a government release.
The former ET Kenny Primary School building will receive a host of mechanical and design upgrades including plumbing, electrical, play spaces, outdoor areas and temperature control.
The Coast Mountain Children’s Society remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic in collaboration with SD 82 to provide childcare for vulnerable children and essential workers. It will continue to offer childcare services while the renovations are taking place.
The society was first established in 2018 and opened its first child care centre in Kitimat. In January 2019, it took over the operations of Willow Creek Childcare which had been located in the ET Kenny School building on Loen Ave. for the past five years.
Since the Childcare BC New Spaces fund’s inception two years ago, the fund has supported nearly 17,000 new childcare spaces in B.C., in what it calls the fastest creation of childcare spaces in B.C.’s history.