The families of dozens of Kamloops kids can breathe a bit easier after a tenancy extension was granted this week to Big Adventures Day Care in North Kamloops.
The day care, located in Mount Paul United Church at 140 Laburnum St., had been given notice by Interior Community Services, which purchased the building in recent years and plans to expand its meal service into the location currently occupied by the day care.
The day care, which has been there for 25 years, was expected to close at the end of this year due to an inability to secure a new location and parents of children who attend the facility — which cares for 40 kids — were left scrambling to find a new day care in a city with lengthy wait lists, while also facing myriad stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After KTW reported on the issue, the day care and non-profit agency met this week and Interior Community Services granted an extension, wherein the daycare will not be required to vacate until June 30, 2021, an additional six months from when it was first expected to leave.
The day-care owner had earlier told KTW she hoped her facility could stay until the end of the 2020-2021 school year, in order to ease the burden on parents.
“We’re really happy to have that extra time because it will be easier on our parents, it will be easier on us,” Big Adventures Daycare owner Dale Schiavon said.
Interior Community Services CEO Kelly Kelland said the organization looked at its capital plan and decided it could benefit from additional time to fundraise for building improvements, while simultaneously helping out parents.
“Really, I just felt like I need to take the high road here and accept her [Schiavon’s] request of keeping it open for another year so folks can at least have an opportunity, folks being those who attend the day care, to go ahead and look for another space,” Kelland told KTW. “Or, my offer still stands to help them relocate.”
As for hope in securing a new location with the extra time granted, Schiavon reiterated to KTW that she has looked for space, but noted locations large enough in North Kamloops for a licensed day care and equipped with sufficient bathrooms and green space are in limited supply. She said she will know more about the future next spring.
“Maybe in June they’ll look at it again? Who knows. I’m sort of in a wait and see situation, like what we can find,” Schiavon said. “It’s never easy.”