2023 10 17 | Keray Regan | Speaker: Lloyd Davies & Stephen Atherton of Sunflower Child Centre

Keray Regan hosted Lloyd Davies and Stephen Atherton of the Sunflower Child Centre at the Vernon campus of the Okanagan College this morning. After some basic background introductions of how Lloyd came to be a professor at the College he delved right in to what the Sunflower Child Centre initiative is all about.

It is anticipated that the combination of the 100 new residences and the Sunflower Child Centre will continue to support the College and the Vernon communities' continued meteoric growth. Many students come from out of town for some of the College' well known programs such as Forestry and Aircraft Maintenance and house is a barrier. Furthermore, many current and future students wishing to upgrade their skills or to improve their academic records also have parental responsibilities. Without adequate child-care options often times their academic and skill development goals are postponed. This is a resonating effect on the economy and the community as a whole. The Sunflower Child Centre is intentionally focused on minimizing these challenges so more people can enroll in, and complete their programs for personal development.

As part of the under-construction 100-bed residence at the campus the Child Centre will be a day-care for students and staff at the College. Supported by the Province and private donations, the facility will host 44 children including 12 infants ages 12-18 months, and 32 children from 3-5 years old. The Centre will be managed by Maven Lane, a well known, not-for-profit day care management organization with multiple locations throughout the greater Vernon area.

Stephen Atherton, who leads the Okanagan College Foundation also presented details of the Centre's architecture and capital funding, indicating that with great support of the Province, Lloyd Davis himself, and the community, the remaining needed capital is only $150,000 of the total $2,750,000 budget.

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