The City of Vernon is going after childcare funding.
Council has okayed a plan to proceed with a Community Child Care Planning Program assessment should a $25,000 grant from the province be successful.
The assessment is necessary before the city can apply for $1 million from the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to build or outfit a facility on city-owned property.
City staff already know the need is great.
“There are 350 children on a waiting list for childcare (in Vernon),” Shane Wright, manager of recreation programs, explained to council on Monday. “Such is the need out there, we won’t be stepping on anyone’s toes.”
Councillor Scott Anderson said he had issues with the plan, calling it “a fairly clear attempt to put the city in a provincial initiative for 14 years.”
Anderson (pictured) repeated concerns about what would happen if the government changed and the funds were withdrawn.
He called it “an expensive endeavor and I’m concerned about that as a taxpayer.”
City staff have already considered possible locations for a new facility, including a second floor on the Boys and Girls Club building or a new standalone facility on property south of Lakers Club House in Okanagan Landing.
Staff believe a new facility would be run in a private-public partnership and accommodate approximately 16 spaces.