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Kimberley breaks ground on new 148-space childcare facility

Land at the Marysville Elementary school will be the future home of a 148-space childcare facility for Kimberley families.

Mayor Don McCormick participated in Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that waiting lists, in many cases, are measured in years. It’s been a very difficult situation,” said McCormick. “These 148 spaces are an absolute game changer for our community and certainly families living here.”

McCormick said the facility is a welcomed addition to Kimberley after a childcare analysis back in 2019 showed a gap between what the community had and what it needs.

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“It really showed that population growth we had over a number of years was adding a lot of kids in the under 10 age group to the population,” said McCormick. “There were lots of young families moving to town and kids being born. It has really added to the vitality of the community, but it also put a real strain on childcare resources that families need to support themselves.”

McCormick said Kimberley has seen a rise of about 300 children since 2019, totalling an estimated 900 kids who are 10 and younger.

“When you consider that we only have about 120 certified childcare spaces that are active in town right now, it really paints a picture of how tight this really is,” said McCormick.

Officials with the Rocky Mountain School District said the facility will have 24 Infant Toddler spaces, 100 for pre-schoolers, and 24 after-school care spaces.

Construction will have an estimated price tag of about $8.8-million, with grant money coming from Columbia Basin Trust and the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund.

Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony was also attended by Amber Byklum, Chairperson of SD6; Karen Shipka, Superintendent of SD6; Kaylyn Gervais, Columbia Basin Trust; Minister of State for Child Care, Hon. Grace Lore; Mayor Don McCormick; and Sarah Jacklin, Executive Director of the Summit Community Services Society.

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