FORT ST. JOHN – BC Hydro and School District 60 have reached an agreement that will create 37 new childcare spaces in the new elementary school in Fort St. John. BC Hydro will contribute $1.8 million to School District 60 to build the new childcare centre as part of the new school, which is targeted for completion by spring 2018.
"The funding agreement with BC Hydro and School District 60 demonstrates how partnerships can create lasting benefits for the region," said Mike Bernier, Minister of Education and MLA for Peace River South. "This funding will create much-needed childcare spaces for the community, while also helping local families working on Site C construction."
During project construction, Site C workers will have shared priority access to roughly half of the childcare spaces, alongside community families.
"We're very pleased to be able to provide a childcare centre as part of the new school," said Ida Campbell, Chairperson, School District 60 (Peace River North). "When the new school opens in 2018, it will have the added benefit of helping working families with childcare."
The provision of additional childcare spaces in Fort St. John is a condition of the Site C project's environmental approval.
"During the environmental assessment process we proposed funding childcare spaces in Fort St. John to help working families participate in the construction of Site C," said Diane McSherry, Vice-President and Project Director, Site C. "We're really pleased to have been able to work with School District 60 to make these childcare spaces a reality."
The new childcare centre will be owned and operated by School District 60 and will offer lasting benefits beyond the Site C construction phase.
"It's very important that a project like Site C provide long-term benefits to the local community," said Pat Pimm, MLA, Peace River North. "I'm pleased to see initiatives like the childcare centre that will benefit local families."
- Funding for the new school in Fort St. John was approved by the Ministry of Education in November 2015.
- Of the 37 childcare spaces, 12 will be for infants/toddlers and 25 for children aged three to five.
- School District 60 will seek an operator of the childcare centre. In October 2014, Site C received environmental approvals along with a series of Conditions. EAC Condition 53 requires the provision of additional daycare spaces in Fort St. John to increase spousal participation in the labour market.
- The commitment to new childcare spaces is included in the Community Measures Agreement between BC Hydro and the City of Fort St. John. Construction of Site C started in July 2015 and will be complete in 2024.
Once built, Site C will provide clean, reliable and affordable electricity for more than 100 years.
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