More than 180 children require childcare services in Lax Kw’alaams, Stephen Conway chief administrator for the Band Council said on Sept. 24. Seen here are youngsters at the Prince Rupert Friendship House Preschool in 2018. Melissa Boutilier photo)

$3.4 million childcare centre to be built in Lax Kw’alaams

Lax Kw’alaams funding has been approved through the provincial New Spaces Fund

A $3.4 million, 62 space child care facility will be built in Lax Kw’alaams with the assistance of funding from the provincial government’s New Spaces Fund and will create community jobs, Stephen Conway chief administration officer for the Lax Kw’alaams Band said, on Sept. 24.

The Lax Kw’alaams Band will receive $2.48 million in funding under the Indigenous Governments category of the New Spaces Fund announced the Ministry of Children and Family Services in a statement on Sept. 18. The provincial funding which will be issued in the upcoming weeks, once the agreements have been formalized secures a multi-space centre for infants, toddlers, and children.

Under the terms of the application and further agreements, the Band was required to provide 10 per cent, or $248,000, in commitment monies to secure the funding, however is contributing more than $960,000 to the construction. A site for the 4,370 sq. ft. facility has been identified near the current health centre, Conway said.

“The new daycare centre is a major initiative for the community,” Conway said.

Conway told The Northern View a 2017 community strategic plan identified childcare as a huge necessity in the community. A subsequent 2019 study later specified that 182 children under the age of 12 required childcare services.

“That gave us the impetus and legitimacy to apply to the province for daycare services,” he said.

More to come.


 
K-J Millar | Journalist 
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