Two Cariboo communities will be creating an inventory of existing childcare spaces, identify how many childcare spaces are currently needed, and how many will be needed over the coming years.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development announced Friday funding that will help ensure communities are responsive to young families.

Quesnel in partnership with the Cariboo Regional District is receiving $50,000.

Williams Lake was awarded $25,000.

“It will be a co-project with the City of Williams Lake and the Social Planning Council,” said Williams Lake economic development officer, Beth Veenkamp.

“We’re excited and we’re just going to figure out now how to roll that out, and we’ve got one year to do it.”

The funding comes from the Community Child Care Planning Program and is the first step in a $3-million partnership launched in September 2018 between the Province and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM).

“These planning grants will help municipalities and regional districts assess their current childcare circumstances and identify what local families will need over the next decade,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development.

“Local governments know best the unique needs in their communities, and working together makes us stronger and better able to respond quickly.”

Once assessed and identified, local governments are expected to then draft an action plan to create these spaces and work with their childcare stakeholders including their school districts, local health authorities, and Indigenous partners to build these plans.

The information will be shared with the Ministry to help inform future provincial childcare investments.