The new Castlegar and District Kids’ Club, located on the grounds of the Castlegar and District Community Complex, was celebrated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 25. Local elected officials, provincial representatives and other special guests were on hand to acknowledge the collaboration that made the much-needed facility a reality.
The Kids’ Club, which provides 30 licensed child care spaces for local families, was completed in late 2021 and opened its doors on Jan. 4, 2022.
The event started with a blessing from Bev Gillard, elder, and Crystal Laren, program consultant West Kootenay Region, from the Circle of Indigenous Nations Society. The blessing was followed by a drum song, and then remarks from local government officials and partners.
“We are excited and grateful to be celebrating the Castlegar and District Kids’ Club, and to be recognizing the partnership and collaboration that led to the creation of this much-needed facility,” said Castlegar’s mayor Kirk Duff. “We’ve heard from parents and caregivers that the Kids’ Club is a solution to their child-care needs. That’s an outcome worth celebrating.”
The facility was made possible thanks to a partnership with Kootenay Family Place (KFP) and the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s (RDCK) Castlegar and District Recreation Commission (CDRC). It was funded by the Province of British Columbia’s ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund, which supports the new, licensed spaces in Castlegar.
“The child care spaces at this community facility will make a big difference to local people, especially as more and more young families have been moving here to raise their children. It’s great to see this project complete,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. “It’s part of a network of new quality centres that are helping to build a future where child care is a core service that families can depend on when they need it, and at a price they can afford.”
“We are proud to have partnered with the RDCK and the Province of British Columbia to secure a modern and much needed early learning centre,” said Rebecca Vassilakakis and Marissa Carrasco, KFP board co-chairs.
The 30 new spaces offered in the facility include 20 licensed pre-school and 20 after-school spaces, providing part-time care in the mornings and after school. The community complex will have access to the facility for programming and school break camps when not in use for child care.
The child care centre was designed by Cover Architecture, a Nelson, BC-based architectural firm, and construction was led by Alfred Horie Construction (AHC) Co. Ltd. The facility is a standalone building situated across from the skate park adjacent to the complex pool, facing south. A new playground area was also created as part of the project, which is open to the public after child-care hours and on weekends.
KFP is a registered non-profit organization serving the needs of children, youth and families throughout the West Kootenay Boundary region. For more information regarding the child-care services that will be offered at the facility, contact KFP via email to email@example.com.