Ucluelet First Nation youth will soon have a new daycare centre thanks to a $500,000 grant from B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development that has earmarked roughly $33 million to create over 3,800 new child-care spaces. (Photo provided by the Ucluelet First Nation)

Ucluelet First Nation receives $500,000 for new daycare centre

“Too many B.C. families are struggling to find child care.”

The Ucluelet First Nation is excited to be part of the provincial government’s recently announced $33 million investment to create over 3,800 new licensed child-care spaces throughout B.C.

Ministry of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy unveiled the Child Care Major Capital Program on Dec. 4 and the Ucluelet First Nation’s government announced Thursday night that it would receive $500,000 to build a daycare centre in Hitacu with capacity for 34 children.

The Ucluelet First Nation, also known as Yuułuʔiłʔath, is a Maa-nulth Treaty Nation with a government office in Hitacu, located across the bay from Ucluelet.

The Nation’s Elders Committee has decided to name the new daycare centre Qʷayaciik?iis—Qwaya-tseek-ees—which means ‘wolf cubs.’

“This is a positive step for Yuułuʔił families to build a new daycare centre where our children will have a space dedicated to the nurturing and culturally-enriched programming in our community,” said Ucluelet First Nation president Les Doiron adding the community’s daycare services are temporarily housed in the government building.

“This new centre will be built above the Tsunami safe zone and close to our government building. It will include a dedicated space for our children to enhance their care with language programming with our fluent speaking elders.”

He added the Nation is seeking other other grant opportunities and expects to break ground on the new facility in 2018.

Hitacu is one of 52 communities included in the province’s Child Care Major Capital Program that’s expected to create over 3,800 child-care spaces through funded 103 projects.

“I’m excited to be announcing that we are building thousands of child-care spaces throughout B.C., including more than ever before for Indigenous communities,” Conroy said. “Too many B.C. families are struggling to find child care. These new spaces will offer relief and hope to parents.”

The program will include 61 new centres and 42 renovation projects.

“We are speeding up the creation of new child-care spaces to address years of pent-up demand for child care,” said Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen. “Our February budget will show our long-term commitment to building a system of accessible, affordable and quality child care for families across the province.”

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