Building Blocks Educare has worked out an interim solution to extend childcare services at its Gordon Drive location until June 2.
A short-term lease extension has been granted by PC Urban Properties, which includes more than five months of free base rent to support Building Blocks and the daycare families during the transition.
“We understand the challenges, stress, and pressure our closure announcement last week had on families, and we hope this will help them find longer-term solutions,” says Laura Forbes, director, and co-owner.
In a news release, Forbes notes the extension is a result of collaborative efforts including the City of Kelowna, Mayor Tom Dyas and Kelowna-Mission MLA Renee Merrifield.
The site housing the Gordon Drive daycare was sold in 2021 to make way for 192-unit purpose-built rental homes, as well as a brand new daycare space.
“Over the past 18 months, Building Blocks has explored potential relocation options, however, the lack of available appropriate space for lease, the ongoing ECE staffing crisis, and the uncertainty surrounding universal childcare has made relocation non-viable,” the news release states.
“In the end, a business decision was made to close the location and to also sell the Sutherland Campus to ProducKIDvity, a locally owned and operated childcare provider, which will take over operations on April 1 with no interruption in care.”
Building Blocks will remain open as long as staffing levels at the childcare centre can be maintained according to childcare licensing regulations.
Despite an acute staffing crisis in the Early Childhood Educator industry, Building Blocks is hopeful it can retain enough
staff to continue operations at the Gordon Drive location until the end of June.
However, the location can only operate with the appropriate staffing levels to meet legislative requirements in each classroom. Once staff starts moving on to new opportunities, the company will have to close programs.