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Non-profit sees big economic benefits in green child care centre
Okanagan College Media Release

Penticton’s newest child care centre is beginning the new year on a bright note with another influential community organization backing the project.

The Southern Interior Development Corporation (SIDCO), an arm of Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen, announced a gift of $5,000 to Little Learners Academy on Okanagan College’s Penticton campus. SIDCO donation Feb 2018

“A child care centre right on campus is a wonderful expansion of the College’s offerings for students,” says Clee Roy, General Manager of Community Futures. “We are excited about the big picture of what this project means for the students and parents in the local workforce that will benefit from it.”

According to Roy, SIDCO supports projects that create long-term economic and social development in the region and the new centre does just that. 

“Providing access to child care gives parents opportunities to pursue education for skills training or continue to participate and gain valuable experience in the work force,” he explains. “Not only will this centre give youth a high-quality education, it will help provide skilled labour and fuel businesses in our local economy.”

SIDCO was also attracted to the project for its cutting-edge sustainable construction techniques.

“Green technology is part of our mandate,” adds Roy. “Having this innovative building right in our backyard continues to elevate our region as a leader in sustainability.”

Roy is referring to the recent accreditation of the facility as a Passive House child care centre, the first of its kind in Canada. In addition to meeting the rigorous Passive House energy-efficiency standard, the centre is built to LEED Platinum standards with the goal of meeting net zero energy, making it one of the most energy efficient daycares in the country.

It is not the first time SIDCO has come to the table to support an environmental initiative at the College. In 2011, they contributed a major gift of $25,000 to the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence, another campus building that has received top nods for its sustainable building technologies and use of renewable energy.

“Our goal in building Little Learners is to provide flexibility and peace of mind for parents to pursue educational or career opportunities,” says campaign chair Mary Ellen Heidt, who also sits on the College’s Regional Advisory Committee. “It’s very encouraging to have support from an organization that sees the project as an asset in shaping the future of our community, and we are very grateful to SIDCO for their contribution.”

Okanagan College and the Okanagan College Foundation continue to fundraise for the project. To learn more or make a contribution to the campaign, visit okanagan.bc.ca/give