Quality child care spaces are hard to find and hard to afford, according to a report just released on child care in the area.
The Town of Princeton currently has 57 licensed childcare spaces, or 18 spaces for every 100 children.
The Community Child-Care Space Creation Action Plan states the town needs an additional 109 group spaces created in the next 10 years.
Consultants surveyed 254 parents and interviewed 71 child care providers in Princeton, Summerland, Oliver, Keremeos and the regional district.
They found there is “a significant shortage” of child care spaces in these communities, that childcare is too expensive for many families and there are not enough qualified and experienced Early Childhood Educators.
Seventy-three per cent of children in day care were on waiting lists for at least six months, and there is a particular shortage of day care spaces for infants and young children.
There are also limited options for parents who work shifts and weekends, the report found.
“Already under-served and more vulnerable populations face additional barriers,” the report states.
According to the parents interviewed, daycare for children not yet in school costs between $600 and $1,065 per month.
While laying out strategies to secure provincial funding to create more childcare spaces across the region, the report recommends Princeton “partner with School District 58 to explore whether underutilized district spaces, such as the board office or Riverside School, could be repurposed for child care.”
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