More childcare options will be available in Elkford by late 2022 as part of a new childcare centre and community hub.
The new facility will be opening in the former District of Elkford municipal office building on Michel Rd in the centre of town, which will undergo extensive renovations to be repurposed into a child care facility.
The works will be funded entirely by grants from the Columbia Basin Trust and the province, and the Elkford Women’s Task Force Society will be the operator when it opens.
According to the district they have also applied for grants which would allow the development of additional, flexible spaces to support small business, non-profits and arts and culture in Elkford to go in the future ‘Elkford Childcare Centre and Community Hub’, as it will be known. The outcome of the grant applications will be known this year.
Executive director of the Elkford Women’s Task Force Society, Kim Bauer said the project would bring 28 much-needed licensed child care spaces to Elkford.
“Parents in Elkford will be so relieved, and we are so excited to welcome the children and their families,” she said.
Mayor of Elkford, Dean McKerracher said that the lack of child care options in Elkford had been a challenge for parents in the town for some time since the towns remaining daycare closed in 2020.
“District staff and council have also been looking for solutions to address the lack of space available for our town’s entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profits to operate in. This facility addresses all of these needs—it’s very exciting, and it will be such a tremendous asset for our community,” he said.
The Elkford Childcare Centre and Community Hub is estimated to open in fall of 2022. Grants for renovations are $250,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust and $1,119,352 from the province’s Childcare BC New Spaces program.
The District of Elkford vacated the building in 2019 for a new, purpose-build municipal building in early 2019 that came with a price tag of $2.5 million. The building on Michel Rd was noted by the district to be too old for the municipality, and required too much investment in the way of repairs as it was 46 years old in 2018. Costs to repair the building (to be borne by the district) were estimated to be between $750,000 and $900,000 at the time, and deemed too high considering the age of the building. All renovations to the building are now covered by grants.
The Elkford Childcare Centre and Community Hub would be the second childcare centre to open in Elkford in a year, with Alpine Childcare Solutions slated to open near Rocky Mountain Elementary School in fall 2021, with future owner-operator Stacey Chislett saying that business would have 32 spaces available suited for parents doing shift work in town, as well as extended hours for before and after school care.
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