Rocky Mountain School District No. 6

Posted on Feb 2, 2023
Six middle aged adults with shovels in a sand box
L-R Amber Byklum, Chairperson of SD6; Karen Shipka, Superintendent of SD6; Kaylyn Gervais, Community Liaison - Columbia Basin Trust; Minister of State for Child Care, Hon. Grace Lore; Mayor Don McCormick; Sarah Jacklin, Executive Director - Summit Communi

Officials from the Ministry of Education and Child Care, School District No. 6 (Rocky Mountain), and partners broke ground on a new $8.8 million childcare facility to be constructed on the land at Marysville Elementary School.

School District No. 6 (Rocky Mountain) “SD6” was delighted to host the Honourable Minister of State for Child Care, Grace Lore, to a groundbreaking ceremony at Marysville Elementary School earlier today.

In the summer of 2022, SD6, in partnership with Summit Community Services Society and Columbia Basin Trust, made an application to the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund.  The District received approval in January 2023.  The proposed facility would see 148 child care spaces for children ages 0 to 10.  The plan is to include 24 Infant Toddler spaces, 100 pre-school spaces, and 24 after-school care spaces. 

Amber Byklum, Board of Education Chairperson for SD6 states, “We want to thank our partners, Summit Community Services Society, Columbia Basin Trust and the City of Kimberley for their support of this project.  The District is grateful to the Ministry for approving and funding this new child care facility”. 

Karen Shipka, Superintendent states, “Last year, the Board of Education proactively supported the District Administration team by hiring a Director for Early Learning and Child Care.  Crystal MacLeod has been working tirelessly to build strong partnerships with third-party providers like Summit Community Services Society and the District team has been supporting this application along the way. We are aware of the extensive waitlists for child care in the Kimberley area.  This facility will help to address some of those concerns for families.”

Sarah Jacklin, Executive Director at Summit Community Services Society “SCSS” is excited to be part of this strong collaboration that will provide much needed childcare spaces.  "SCSS appreciates the commitment, insight, and support provided for this initiative by all partners. The school district and Crystal Macleod have been instrumental in moving this initiative forward. We are extremely excited to work in this partnership as the project comes to fruition enabling us to support and provide quality learning and nurturing childcare to many more families in the area”.

Deb Saffin, SCSS Board Chair states "SCSS has been actively supporting families in the Kimberley area for 50 years and looks forward to serving many more. This partnership with SD6, the City of Kimberley and Columbia Basin Trust will ensure that we are able to provide 21st century families with the childcare resources they need to help to reduce the stress of working parents." Saffin appreciates the valuable work Jacklin and MacLeod are doing on this project and the energy they bring to the table.

Johnny Strilaeff, President and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust states, “We know that safe and affordable child care is important to people across the region; that’s why we’re supporting local efforts to create more child care spaces—enabling residents to grow their careers and families, while staying local. This will be a spectacular addition to an area that has so much to offer. Congratulations to all on breaking ground on this much-needed facility.”

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick joined SD6 and partners at the groundbreaking ceremony, “These 148 new childcare spaces are a game changer for our growing community, addressing the barriers identified in the City’s 2019 Childcare Gap Analysis. Over the last 5-year census period, the 0-10 age group has grown by 300 children. Congratulations to all involved, and the City looks forward to supporting in any way we can.”

“I was happy to be in Kimberley for the groundbreaking of a new child care facility that will have 148 new licensed child care spaces and be conveniently located at Marysville Elementary School,” said Grace Lore, Minister of State for Child Care. “By partnering with school districts, we are funding the creation of new child care spaces where they are needed most to build a future where child care is a core service all families can rely on.”