Tahsis seeks provincial investment to retain its sole child care facility

To avoid closure of Puddle Duck Daycare, the village has sought funding to relocate the facility to local school premises

Remote Vancouver Island village, Tahsis, has sought roughly $200,000 in provincial funding to relocate the community’s sole licensed childcare facility.

The urgency to relocate the municipally-operated Puddle Ducks Daycare (PDD), which currently operates from the Tahsis Recreational Centre, stemmed from a building assessment that was conducted in late 2019.

The assessment found the daycare facility to be “structurally unsound” and “in need of removal,” thereby prompting relocation.

A grant application to relocate PDD was submitted to the Ministry of Children and Families on May 11, said Mark Tatchell, chief administrative officer of Tahsis.

As the sole licensed childcare facility in Tahsis, decommissioning PDD was not an option, which is why the village sought to relocate it to the premises of Captain Meares Elementary Secondary School. Plans to relocate PDD on to the school premises, were also supported by School District 84, said Tatchell.

Co-location was chosen after consulting parents/guardians through a community survey undertaken in 2019.

Affordable childcare is also important for future economic growth plans for Tahsis, said Tatchell, owing to the fact that the village was looking to attract younger families to move there. The space at the new location on the school premises would be ideal to address any future expansion plans, he said.

The need for expanding childcare services was also highlighted in the survey which identified the need for more services for school children rather than just infants and preschoolers.

According to the findings of the community survey, the top reasons that parents in Tahsis seek childcare is so that they can work and support their children’s development.

Cost of care and availability of temporary care and care for a sick child, are also some of the challenges that Tahsis residents identified in the study.

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