The future is looking bright for the new child care centre at Okanagan College as another community group adds a building block to the fundraising campaign.
The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen is contributing $7,490 to the Bright from the Start: Building for the Future campaign to help enhance the outdoor play space at the new Little Learners Academy at the Penticton campus.
“We had a committee of 27 reviewers of more than 80 applications and this project was near the top of the list,” explains Aaron McRann, Executive Director of the Community Foundation. “It resonated because everyone in the region is affected directly or indirectly by the challenges of finding child care and understands the need for quality early childhood education.”
A father of two, McRann is no stranger to the dilemma.
“Finding child care was an issue when my kids were younger and families in Penticton are still facing the same problem today,” he explains.
McRann hopes the gift from the Community Foundation will help address part of the issue.
“We can see the immediate, positive impact our gift will have on Okanagan College students and South Okanagan families served by the centre. We also see the bigger picture and the long-term benefits for our community that will come from this.”
The College hopes that bigger picture is something South Okanagan residents will see.
“The significance of the new centre goes beyond the boundaries of our campus and will benefit the community and economy,” explains Kathy Butler, Executive Director of the Okanagan College Foundation.
“Providing parents access to child care empowers them to enter or stay in the workforce or focus on their own education. We thank the Community Foundation for recognizing that need and showing their support to give the next generation a quality start to their education.”
The donation from the Community Foundation will support the outdoor play area at Little Learners. The centre opened in September and is operated through a partnership between Okanagan College and the OneSky Community Resources Community Resources (OneSky Community Resources). Registration is open to families in the South Okanagan, including College students and employees.
To make a donation or learn more about the innovative project, visit okanagan.bc.ca/give.