Sunflower Childcare Centre
Helping students and their families bloom
Answering the urgent call for childcare
The critical shortage of childcare spaces in the North Okanagan, and the lack of affordability of care can prevent parents from pursuing higher education.
To address these issues, Okanagan College is building the Sunflower Childcare Centre / smúkwaʔxn̓ scəcəmalla itskn snmaʔmayaʔtn on our Vernon Campus.The new 44-seat Centre will offer affordable childcare through programs like the $10-a-Day childcare initiative or the Child Care Fee Reduction initiative.
Okanagan College Foundation has already raised over $2 million for the Centre and is now inviting the community to help raise the remaining $750,000 required to equip this beautiful centre with furnishings, supplies, and a creative outdoor space where the kids can play and learn.
To speak to a member of the Sunflower Childcare Campaign Team please call 250-762-5445 local 4772 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheques can be mailed to 1000 KLO Road, Kelowna, BC, V1Y4X8
of parents are waitlisted for childcare services
average time spent on childcare waitlists
more likely to graduate with childcare
Click or tap through the carousel to read impact stories.
I signed up for as many waitlists as I could, but I was only offered part-time placements. Not having full-time childcare has meant that my schooling has taken much longer, and I’ve struggled in my classes because I haven’t had quiet study time.
Student Parent, Okanagan College Vernon Campus
Time and again, I would have students missing class, missing labs, missing exams because they were struggling to get affordable, reliable, childcare. It was an ongoing issue for students who had young children."
Leadership Donor and Former Okanagan College Instructor
I signed up for fourteen childcare waitlists, and it still took years to get my daughter into daycare.
Megean Dahms, Student Parent,
Okanagan College Vernon Campus.
I’ve really struggled to find good, licensed childcare for my daughter. She’s my everything. I’d almost rather not go to school than go and worry she’s not being properly cared for.
Sarina Parsons, Student Parent,
Okanagan College Vernon Campus
Impact on students
Access to high-quality childcare will allow parents to improve their lives by pursuing their educational goals.
Impact on Community
The Centre will serve as a practicum site, providing opportunities for the North Okanagan’s next generation of Early Childhood Educators to receive high-quality, real-world education.
Sunflower Childcare Centre
What’s in a Name
The Sunflower Childcare Centre / smúkʷaʔxn̓ scəcəmalla itskn snmaʔmayaʔtn was named by leadership donors Lloyd Davies and Janet Armstrong, who were inspired by the symbolism of sunflowers, in particular, the Okanagan Sunflower / smúkʷaʔxn a vibrant yellow wildflower that dots the hillside on Okanagan College’s Vernon Campus. This stunning location overlooks Kalamalka lake, has trails linking to Okanagan College’s Indigenous garden, and provides the perfect space for the Centre’s curated outdoor play areas.
Quality, affordable care
- 32 3-5 years
- 12 Infant
- Before and after school care
- Priority for OC students
Operated by Maven Lane
- Non-profit, respected local provider
- 550 local children in their care
- Excellent care for children from all communities
Affordable for parents - $10 per-day / Child Care Fee Reduction initiatives
The gift of outdoor play
- Flower petal design
- Shaded and open activity areas
- Linked to Indigenous garden
- 50% of time spent outdoors
- 4717 sq ft
- 2 rooms 3-5 yrs, with areas for art, water play, quiet time, and naps
- 1 infant toddler room, with sleep room, climbing and crawling space & cozy area
- Private entrance and parent drop off