Childcare study almost complete

After months of work a feasibility study on childcare is almost complete.

Concerned citizens discuss childcare and early learning during a presentation regarding a feasibility study being done on the subject at the Kicking Horse River Lodge.

Concerned citizens discuss childcare and early learning during a presentation regarding a feasibility study being done on the subject at the Kicking Horse River Lodge.

A feasibility study on childcare and early learning that has been in the works for quite some time is almost near its final conclusion.

More than 30 parents, politicians and concerned citizens showed up to the Kicking Horse River Lodge on Nov. 14, to hear what the study’s architect, Laurie Dalzell, had to say about the ongoing investigation into the current state of early childcare and early learning in our community, and the possible changes that would be made.

“We’re not entering into any debates here today,” said Dalzell, stressing the point that the forum was to gather feedback and provide information about early learning or care.

“Golden is strong in many areas of this, with the Strong Start Program and a lot of other programs the Early Childhood Development Coalition has brought into business over the years,” said Dalzell of early learning, but added that it can always get better. Studies continually show that early learning is the best way to prepare children for school, and those that don’t receive adequate preparation are left vulnerable right from the start.

The vulnerability rate in British Columbia is 30 per cent. Golden is behind the provincial average at 41 per cent, and the best vulnerability rate in the region belongs to Revelstoke with nine per cent.

Dalzell has spent the last several months collecting data from families and businesses in Golden (118 households have participated so far, 24 employers and business owners, and five of the seven home child care providers – 173 kids ages zero to 14 have been represented).

“Fifty per cent say they’re impacted in some way by the current care system, but more people are happy than unhappy,” said Dalzell. There are still problems, however, and Dalzell’s data shows that flexible, part-time and summer care is badly needed. She also discussed the reliance many parents have on family and friends for care, an option that families who are new to Golden may not have.

As part of her research, Dalzell surveyed future parents (couples who plan on having children in the next several years). Out of the 30 to 50 that she questioned, 90 per cent said they would consider using a group facility if it were available.

Dalzell is still gathering information through focus groups, and is careful to not throw out any recommendations until she is finished.

“I want people to be involved ahead of time,” said Dalzell. “Any recommendations made in the study must be actionable, and getting people invested now is the best way to do that.”

Dalzell expects the final report to be complete by Dec. 16.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

It’s important to be sure how to use your equipment appropriately when in the backcountry. (File photo)
Backcountry Safe seeks to start safety dialogue

The group is hoping that people will learn from their mistakes

Masks are now mandatory in public places in B.C. under new provincial public gathering restrictions. (Claire Palmer photo)
Physicians of Golden support mask mandate

Dr. Larsen Soles says that there is still time to get the rising numbers under control

The process to bring a community forest to Golden is still ongoing. (File photo)
Local group works to bring community forest to Golden

The group will be working in cooperation with local First Nations groups

Business district is pictured during a traffic jam in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Morning Start: By 2050, 95 percent of North Jakarta could be submerged

Your morning start for Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Central Okanagan Public Schools administration office in Kelowna. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed in 5 more Central Okanagan schools

All people who tested positive for the virus are self isolating at home

Penticton Law Courts
Bail hearing for Penticton man charged with sex assault, forcible confinement

Robert Sauve is facing more than 10 criminal charges

Revelstoke RCMP warn of scam after two people targeted in one day. (Black Press file photo)
Revelstoke RCMP warn of scammer pulling at heart strings

Two people in Revelstoke targeted in one day by person posing as a loved one

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP investigate suspected arson at Shuswap hunting camp

Suspicious fire took place by Scotch Creek forest service road on Oct. 24

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

St. James Anglican Church, Armstrong, B.C. (Google Maps).
Prayer at North Okanagan council meetings a violation of religious neutrality: study

New study found 23 municipalities held prayer sessions at inaugural meetings in 2018, in violation of a Supreme Court decision

A worker at Kelowna Airport has tested positive for COVID-19. (File)
Kelowna airport worker tests positive for COVID-19

Individual, who works as a screener, was asked to self-isolate, at which time they tested positive

Most Read