Port Alberni Receives $2.9M from Province to Create 88 New Child Care Spaces

Port Alberni Receives $2.9M from Province to Create 88 New Child Care Spaces

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Port Alberni, BC – Families in Port Alberni will soon have access to 88 new licensed child care spaces. The spaces are coming available in a new multi-use Child Care Centre inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to child care.

Through the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, the Province supports the new Child Care Centre to create 15 infant/toddler spaces, 19 spaces for children aged 30 months to school age, 24 after school, and eight multi-age spaces. This project will also include 22 additional spaces funded through the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

"On behalf of Council for the City of Port Alberni, I am incredibly thankful to the Province of British Columbia and Minister Chen for making such a significant investment in the children of Port Alberni," said Mayor Sharie Minions. "In 2019, the Alberni Valley Childcare Spaces Report highlighted a very concerning shortfall in available child care spaces in the Alberni Valley. We are so thrilled to not only see our request for $2.9 million in funding approved but other projects in our Valley funded as well. We want to extend our most appreciative thanks to all the child care workers and advocates in our community. Access to affordable and quality child care is such an important foundational piece of building a complete community, and this work could not be done without each of you,” concluded Mayor Minions.

The Child Care Centre will be located between the Rollin Arts Centre and SD70's Eighth Avenue Learning Centre. The Centre, a direct project proposal outcome of the 2019 Childcare Needs Assessment, will feature Reggio Emilia's arts and education-inspired child care programming and designs. This approach emphasizes a child-centred and self-guided program that uses self-directed, experiential learning with education principles focused on arts, community, outdoor exploration and multi-modal learning opportunities. Flexible space usage concepts will allow for before and after school room designs, a community kitchen, and multi-purpose space layouts, which can be utilized for events and workshops. Eventually, the multi-purpose spaces will be available for rent to community partners outside of the child care schedule. In addition, there will be a grand entry connecting the Child Care Centre to the existing Rolling Arts Centre featuring a Children's Art Gallery, ensuring strong physical and philosophical ties between the property partners. The Centre anticipates a Fall 2022 opening.


For More Information

Scott Smith, Director of Development Services/Deputy CAO

City of Port Alberni