Twenty-eight childcare spaces are welcomed to Comox through the Aspen Grove Children’s Centre.
The new spaces, 16 for children 30 months to school age and 12 spaces for children up to 36 months, were announced in July 2020 and supported by Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund and the Union of BC Municipalities with $1.4 million.
The Comox Valley Children’s Day Care Society will operate the spaces through a long-term lease.
The town says demand for childcare became more prominent during recent years, and mayor Russ Arnott added that community additions highlighted the number of young families in the area.
“We really saw the community growing, with our splash park earlier how so many young families were out,” said Arnott. “COVID really showed the younger families coming in, so we needed to do this, we need to do more of this, we need to do more affordable type of housing.”
The daycare is located in a new apartment building on Aspen Road. Arnott says for many years the space didn’t have any developments since 2008.
He adds through partnerships, they were able to add six affordable units to the apartment.
Arnott says businesses need to be included in these developments, and more projects ahead need to include spaces for them.
“Businesses should be included, we’ve been finding a shortage of commercial spaces all around,” he said. “We’re talking about the doctor shortages, they need to have more space, and daycare needs to have more space.”
“When we do have a large building like this, we’ll have a commercial component in the bottom. We’ll see what the need is at that time and then we will move towards whether it’s a daycare, doctor’s office.”
The space will involve the moving around of daycare staff, according to Arnott. However, he adds there could be more job opportunities down the road.