Big donation for OC daycare
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 16, 2022 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed
(L to R): Okanagan College Foundation chair Gladys Fraser, OCF executive director Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Vernon Students’ Association general manager Eric Reist, human service work student Athena Grelson, Lloyd Davies and Janet Armstrong.

Lloyd Davies for years heard from colleagues and students about their struggles with daycare.

That is why Davies and his wife, Janet Armstrong, have donated $500,000 to support the construction of a child-care centre at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus.

Davies first noticed the impact of daycare in 1985, when he returned to Okanagan College to complete his teaching certification training through the SFU extension professional development program.

“I had several colleagues who were struggling with daycare,” Davies said in a press release. “They were trying to get teacher credentials and further their careers, but finding daycare for their children was a hassle.”

Davies, who taught adult upgrading courses at Okanagan College from 1999 to 2014, and Armstrong have been big supporters of Vernon community groups over the years. This donation, however, was definitely near and dear to Davies’ heart.

“I had a whole bunch of adult learners, and a lot of them with younger families had problems with daycare,” he said. “Time and again, I would have students missing class, missing labs, missing exams. It was an ongoing issue with students who had young children.

“It was never a huge number, but it was pretty apparent what was happening. Really good students were working really, really hard, but daycare was just this huge hurdle for them to get over.”

The $500,000 gift enabled Okanagan College to apply to the provincial government’s ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund to create new child-care spaces at the Vernon campus. ChildCareBC’s intake for 2022 focused on spaces run by public and non-profit institutions, with priority provided to spaces co-located at places of learning such as post-secondary institutions.

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