WATCH: New space for child services ‘a dream come true’

Facility is three times bigger than the old building

  • Drop-in Childcare program opens in May
  • Funding still needed to cover cost of renovations

For Melissa Hunt, childcare is the most important piece of a community. That’s why she described the opening of a local non-profit society’s new space as a “dream come true.”

Childhood Connections Okanagan Family and Childcare Society celebrated the soft opening of its Family Centre on Harvey Avenue and Burtch Road, which will offer a variety of childcare programs for the Okanagan.

“We wanted to create a space that was dynamic and multipurpose, would be inviting to families and childcare educators, providers, and anyone who’s caring for children,” Hunt, the executive director at Childhood Connections, told Kelowna10.

“We wanted to have a space they could connect with, to connect with each other.”

The facility offers programs like a free toy lending library for children from birth to 12 years old, information for families to find and afford childcare, and free play therapy for children in financial need.

“It’s so important for children to have the social and emotional experience in a childcare setting, sets the foundation for their early years.”

The new centre is three times bigger than the old space, allowing them to offer education and resources for childcare providers. A kitchen space is available for the Nourish Families Initiative, which helps provide nourishing meals, child development resources, and support for vulnerable families.

In May, a Drop-in Childcare program will be run out of the new building, providing occasional, flexible childcare for children from 18-months to 6-years-old.

“They can drop their children off for a couple hours, and they’re going to be in great care in our quality drop-in childcare program,” Hunt said. “It often falls onto the females in the families to be the primary caregiver, so it’s important for our community to recognize that, and really support childcare to get more women into the workforce.”

The program will be for families who need part-time childcare for any reason, such as attending appointments or waiting for a full-time childcare space to open up.

“We are a play-based program, believing children learn best through play,” Sarah MacDonald, drop-in childcare program coordinator told Kelowna10. “We’ve got lots of different materials in the centre for them to move around, mix together, explore with, experiment with.”

Childhood Connections’ new location is at #101 - 1505 Harvey Avenue.

For more information on the programs, click here.

Published 2022-03-30 by Jordan Brenda

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