In 1990, Tertia Yates, decided that it would be a great idea to offer a Christian based summer camp program out of The Royal Oak Baptist Church for children ages 5-12 in the surrounding neighborhood. This day camp would give kids something fun to do while their parents were at work and at the same time would give young adults, who cared about children, a summer job. After much thought, it was decided that the camp would be called Kids Klub. There was a T.V cartoon show called Kids Klub at the time and the thought was the children would relate to the name and want to join. The staff delivered flyers to the houses in the neighborhood in the hopes of recruiting campers. For supplies, the staff bought used board games and toys from local thrift shops. The Royal Oak Baptist Church gave Kids Klub a small start up amount to run the day camp for 6 weeks. That summer Kids Klub started with 14 children and 4 staff.
At the end of the summer camp, working parents approached Kids Klub to see if they would be interested in continuing as an after school care program that fall. They needed somewhere safe and fun to send their children after school. That September, with 4 children at Lochside Elementary School, our after school care program was born. In addition, Shelley Yates also opened Acorn Christian Preschool that fall. Not long after, parents from neighbouring Cordova Bay Elementary heard about the program and asked about the possibility of a pick-up. While the staff where excited at the opportunity the organization did not have the money to purchase a van. Thankfully Pastor Tom Oshiro (from the Mustard Seed Street Ministry) offered to lend their vehicle from 1:30 to 6:00 p.m. As a result a staff member went down each day to pick up and drop off the van enabling Kids Klub to commute to both Lochside and Cordova Bay schools. Two months later there were 15 children coming for after school care. By the end of June the program was full. The following summer, a 9 week summer camp was offered. In September Kids Klub opened its second out of school location at Glanford Elementary SchoolÂ andÂ purchased its first van. Today, Kids Klub is proud to have its own fleet of buses.
In 1994, Kids Klub was incorporated under the Society’s Act and became Vancouver Island Kids Klub Centre Society. A volunteer Board of Directors was formed. Over the next few years Kids Klub kept growing opening more sites in Saanich, Victoria and the Westshore. Kids Klub programs are all licensed by the Vancouver Island Health Authority and housed in various elementary schools, churches and scout halls as well as local recreation centers.
In 2000, Kids Klub started the Brown Bag Lunch Program. This program delivers free lunches to elementary and middle schools that have identified children coming to school without lunches.
In 2008, Kids Klub opened their first multiage daycare for children ages 0 to 5 to help meet a growing need in our community.
Kids Klub’s mandate from the very first day was to offer local families in the community a safe place for children to go where they would feel valued and cared for, a place where they could be active and have fun. Twenty Five years later, Kids Klub has proven to be an important part of every community it services and now cares for over 450 children each day with 70 qualified staff employed.