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Valley First invests in early learning

Lunch and snack time at the Little Learners Academy will be a little bit easier, thanks to a donation from Valley First.

Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, is donating $5,000 to the new child care centre located at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus. The gift supports a kitchen space located in one of the centre’s four age-specific spaces.

Valley First early learning

“Hunger is our signature cause at Valley First and along with that we also support food security, which includes access to healthy food for all,” says Susan Ewanick, President of Valley First.

“Along with understanding nutrition, instilling a joy for eating is important to children’s health and well-being for their whole lives. It’s this alignment with our values that compelled us to support the kitchen at Little Learners Academy.”

“Valley First has been a long-time supporter of Okanagan College, and we’re very grateful for their gift to our child care centre campaign,” says Kathy Butler, Okanagan College Foundation Executive Director.

“The kitchen is already being put to good use, with the children easily getting their lunches from the refrigerator for snacks and lunchtime.”

Little Learner’s Academy officially opened in September 2017 to help address the need for more child-care spaces in Penticton. With a priority on providing child care for students and staff at the college, 25 per cent of the children currently at the centre are connected to Okanagan College. The remaining spaces are children from Penticton and the surrounding communities.  

The child care centre is made possible by a $500,000 investment by the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development and support from donors. For more information and ways to support the Bright from the Start Campaign please visit

Little Learners was also recently recognized as one of Canada’s most sustainable new buildings. To learn more click here.