Sun Peaks’ daycare update slated for next week at council

Parents say Sun Peaks’ new daycare would benefit their careers and children.
A child with blonde hair and blue eyes is in the centre of the photo. He's wearing a blue t-shirt with polka dots. His parents kneel behind him. The dad has short brown hair and wears a grey sweater. His mom wears a white tank top and has medium length blonde hair. Grasslands and rolling hills are in the background.
Melissa and Kyle Vike with their son, Aspen. The family hopes their son gets a spot at Sun Peaks’ daycare. Photo submitted by Melissa Vike.

An update regarding Sun Peaks’ daycare is scheduled for next week’s council meeting, May 16.

Al Raine, Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) mayor, told SPIN council expects to hear details regarding the application process and the number of spaces available.

“We’re hopeful there’s enough spaces, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s more popular than we’ve even dreamed about,” Raine told SPIN.

He noted the number of spots available is dependent on licensing by Interior Health.

Parents hopeful for Sun Peaks’ Daycare intake process update

Many parents in the area are eagerly awaiting news on the application and intake process for the new centre.  

Kayla Alfred owns Sun Peaks Yoga, and as a business owner, she feels her work and parenting would benefit from having reliable childcare. She cares for her son during the day and works during the evening.

In order to focus on her business and get ahead on chores, Alfred needs childcare on Mondays and Fridays, and she’d like to see flexible options for the days kids can attend the new centre.

“I feel like my business is suffering, and Andrew [her husband] and I are both just exhausted,”Alfred said. “It takes me three hours to do a simple task…I end up working and cleaning and meal prepping at 10 p.m. when I get home from work.”

While she understands there are challenges in setting up a new facility, including hiring childcare professionals, Alfred wants more information about the age and ability requirements for intake at Sun Peaks Daycare.

A woman with blue glasses covered in rain is at the bottom on the photo. Behind her is her husband wearing a brimmed hat and holding their child on his shoulders. The family is outside in a forest.
Kayla, Andrew and their son Wes Alfred need daycare two days a week to make their life sustainable. Photo submitted by Kayla Alfred.

“I am nervous that we don’t qualify, and then I’ve gotten all excited about the prospects because, a nanny is nice, but it’s crazy expensive [at $85 a day],” she said. “Bottom line, all I really need is more information.”

Melissa Vike is another parent and business owner who is looking forward to the daycare centre. Vike is a realtor and also runs Flight Deck Cannabis with her husband, Kyle Vike, who is the primary childcare provider for their family.  

The couple started looking for childcare almost four years ago when she became pregnant.

“We’re very grateful to live on the hill and we understand that some amenities are going to be limited,” Vike explained. “That’s the sacrifice you pay for being in such an amazing community. On the flip side, it is very difficult for families to have both spouses working.”

The family previously drove to Kamloops for daycare, but their son started getting car sick. Rather than subject him to that each day, Vike even considered moving to Kamloops.

“Luckily, we’re in a position where we have grandparents close by who are fantastic and take him on days that we need,” Vike told SPIN.

While Vike has family support, she says spending time building a business with her husband and having two incomes would be a welcome relief if she gets her son into daycare.

Socialization and connection

Another benefit to daycare, aside from a better career and family balance, is the socialization kids get through interacting with peers. 

Vike and her husband only plan on having one child and she said her son is missing out developmentally because he’s not in childcare.

“Our son is very social. He’s missing out on the social aspect childcare can provide … He’s not learning to share. He’s not learning to play the other way kids do and taking social cues,” Vike said.

For Alfred, deciding to put her son in childcare comes with complicated emotions. She described a sense of “mom guilt” over seeking childcare when she can adjust her own schedule. However, she knows her son would enjoy spending more time with other children.

“I feel like I’m denying him that chance to play with other kids his age instead of hanging out with me all day,” she said.

Vike has previously contacted the municipality about updates for the new facility, but was told there isn’t a waitlist system because SPMRM worked on licencing and staffing before starting the intake process.

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