Maven Lane is now open and serving the community of Lavington as of Monday, Feb. 1.
The new space, which provides 32 new spaces for children between 36 months and school-aged, was made possible thanks to the $637,800 grant from the province’s Childcare New Spaces Fund.
“The new Lavington child care facility is a welcome addition to the community. This project has become a reality from the cooperative approach and hard work undertaken by the residents, staff and council,” Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick said. “We would like to thank the province of British Columbia and the Ministry of Children and Family Development for providing these funds which will help to address the child care shortage in our community.”
The new facility, located in Lavington Park, did not come without some controversy, however, as many residents spoke up about the loss of green space. A petition was started to urge council to consider a different location for the daycare facility.
When ground broke in August, one area resident chained himself to a tree in protest of the new build.
But already, the facility is meeting the needs of families in the North Okanagan in a time where childcare options are limited.
“The demand has already exceeded supply,” Garlick said.
Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu offered her congratulations to all those involved in the project.
“By continuing to work together with partners like the District of Coldstream, we can make affordable, accessible and inclusive child care a reality for families in communities throughout B.C.,” she said.
The facility was first announced April 24, 2020, in response to the need for child-care spaces in Coldstream based on a recent assessment report showing a lack of available spaces.
Maven Lane is a non-profit organization with a long and respected history of providing child care services to Greater Vernon.
A second child care facility will be constructed in Coldstream, combined with a community centre to replace the old Women’s Institute Hall. A contract is expected to be awarded this spring or summer on the more than $5 million facility on Kalamalka Road, which will add an additional 84 child care spaces into the community.