Elkford is receiving an exciting new facility, the Elkford Childcare Centre and Community Hub, which will bring much-needed licensed child care services and shared community spaces to town in late 2022.
Funded entirely by grants, the new child care facility will be opening within the former District of Elkford municipal office building on Michel Road.
The building is set to undergo extensive renovations before being repurposed into a child care facility, with the Elkford Women’s Task Force Society as the operator. The district has also applied for a grant through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, which will allow the development of additional, flexible spaces to support small businesses, non-profits and arts and culture in Elkford. Results of this grant are anticipated in summer 2021.
“This community project brings 28 licensed child care spaces to Elkford and fulfills a great need for affordable, quality child care in our community,” said Kim Bauer, Executive Director of the Elkford Women’s Task Force Society. “Parents in Elkford will be so relieved, and we are so excited to welcome the children and their families!”
Elkford’s remaining daycare closed its doors in 2020, limiting local child care options for residents. The community has no shortage of youth, either: Elkford made regional headlines a few years ago for its unusually high proportion of children, as reported by the Statistics Canada 2016 Census.
The Elkford Childcare Centre and Community Hub is being funded through a $250,000 grant from Columbia Basin Trust, as well as a $1,119,352 grant from the Province’s Childcare BC New Spaces program, with results from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure grant application pending. The project is also proceeding with the full support of District of Elkford mayor and council, as well as letters of support from many local organizations and individuals.
“The lack of child care services in Elkford has presented a challenge to parents for some time,” said Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher. “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.”
“Access to affordable, quality and inclusive child care close to home is critical to supporting families and communities,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “We are happy to support child care in Elkford that will benefit local families for generations to come.”
On behalf of Elkford’s council and citizens, the mayor also extends his thanks to the District of Elkford senior management team and the Elkford Women’s Task Force Society for working together to prepare such a strong proposal for the province, as well as to Columbia Basin Trust and their incredible staff for helping make this project a reality.
The Elkford Childcare Centre and Community Hub is estimated to open in fall of 2022.