FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A new full-day childcare space at Robert Ogilvie Elementary is slated to open up next fall.

School District 60 says they collaborated with the YMCA and Northern Health to create the space which previously hosted the SD60 before and after school care program at Robert Ogilvie.

Previously, the district received funding from the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to open licensed childcare spaces on school grounds.

Angela Telford with SD60 says that because many students weren’t utilizing the program at the Robert Ogilvie, the district decided to use the funding to expand childcare services, with the YMCA still offering an afterschool care program at the school.

“It’s a really good partnership and a good use of the space that wasn’t getting utilized to its best ability,” Telford said.

“The construction is done for the space, and the portables were already there. So we did some renovations inside and added a playground and an outdoor classroom.”

Telford adds that the change will help bolster Fort St. John’s childcare services.

“It’s an expanded program, and there are no services to the community being cut,” Telford said.

Telford adds that if parents are partial to their children attending a school district 60 before and school care program, busing arrangements can be made for children to attend a program at a different school.

The new program is expected to launch on September 1st, 2022.

District-run childcare spaces are still available at Alwin Holland Elementary, Duncan Cran Elementary, and Bert Ambrose Elementary.

Spencer Hall is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca and a recent graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Radio Arts & Entertainment program. Growing up in Northwest B.C. made Spencer aware of the importance of local journalism, independent media, and reconciliation. In his spare time, you can find Spencer reading, playing video games, or at the FSJ dog park with his dog, Teddy.