By: Korie Marshall

The Board of Directors of the Robson Valley Support Society has voted to temporarily close the Stepping Stones Children’s Centre in McBride, effective July 1st. The closure will be re-evaluated in September.

A statement from the Board cited declining enrollment, increased costs and staffing issues as reasons for the closure.

Kelly Williams, executive director of the society, says Stepping Stones currently has between five and eight children on a part-time basis, and the temporary closure will affect 1.5 full-time equivalent positions.

The statement says it was a difficult decision for the Board, but they are confident the society will continue to support local families in other ways. It says the time of the closure is intended to present the least impact to families, and will be re-evaluated in September.

The Robson Valley Support Society has been providing a number of community support services to McBride, Valemount and surrounding areas for over 30 years, including career counseling, literacy programs, child development support, and crisis support for individuals and families. Programs are funded by a number of provincial ministries as well as the Columbia Basin Trust and the United Way of Northern BC.