A new childcare centre on Selkirk College’s Silver King Campus in Nelson had its grand opening this week.
Opened to families in September, the new centre provides 24 new spaces for both Selkirk College students and the general community. It is being operated by the Kootenay Kids Society and was made possible through $1.2 million in funding from the provincial government’s Childcare BC New Spaces Fund and $300,000 from Columbia Basin Trust.
“I’m thrilled that members of the Selkirk College community and other busy Kootenay parents will now have child care right on site at the Silver King Campus to make lives easier,” Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson said in a news relase.
“On-campus child care means parents can have peace-of-mind knowing their kids are close by. Thanks to everyone involved in making this new centre a reality. These new spaces are helping parents balance raising their kids with their studies so they are able to build a strong foundation for their families.”
The Silver King Childcare Centre opens 24 licensed spaces to the community that includes 16 children from birth to 36 months and eight children between the ages of three to five. Eight spaces have been set aside for Selkirk College students with the remainder available to the general community through the non-profit Kootenay Kids Society. Students from all Selkirk College campuses in the region are eligible to apply for the spaces.
“Child care facilities on our campuses makes it easier for students to pursue their studies, improves supports for Selkirk College employees with young families, and supports the community with more early learning opportunities for kids,” Selkirk College president Angus Graeme said in the release.
“Selkirk College’s fundamental mission is accessible, affordable post-secondary education and this addition to the Silver King Campus is an important piece. With more availability of licensed child care, parents who face barriers to access now have additional options.”
“Kootenay Kids Society is pleased to partner with Selkirk College and Columbia Basin Trust to bring these additional child care spaces to Nelson,” says Helen Lutz, executive director of Kootenay Kids.
“Locating the childcare centre at the college will reduce educational barriers for students who are parents. We look forward to hosting Early Childhood Care and Education Program students from the college who will complete their education and practicums. It really is a win-win for so many families in the community.”
The partnership with Columbia Basin Trust is a vital element of the new centre. Since launching its Child Care Support Program in 2017, the Trust has created 820 new child care spaces and upgraded nearly 2,600 spaces around the Columbia Basin region.