More parents in central Vancouver Island will be able to pursue work, school and other opportunities while knowing their children are cared for as the Province invests in more than 320 new licensed
child care spaces.
In School District 68:
* Cilaire Early Learning and Child Care Centre; 52
spaces (12 infant-toddler, 16 2.5 years to kindergarten, 24 school age), located on school grounds
* Pleasant Valley Elementary Learning and Child Care Centre; 52 spaces (12 infant-toddler,
16 2.5 years to kindergarten, 24 school age), located on school grounds
* École Quarterway Elementary Child Care Centre; 24 school-age spaces, located on school grounds
"Parents and caregivers deserve to know their kids are in safe hands while they are at work, and with these new spaces, high-quality care will be accessible for many more families," said Adam Walker,
MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. "We are creating a child care system where care is available for every family who wants it, across Vancouver Island and B.C."
The Province is supporting eight
child care providers to create 321 new licensed child care spaces in the central Vancouver Island communities of Crofton, Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach, Tofino and Ucluelet.
In addition to these
child care locations, 1,139 new spaces have been funded in Crofton, Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach, Tofino and Ucluelet since the launch of ChildCareBC in July 2018.
"We know that access to affordable
child care makes an enormous difference in people's lives, and we're seeing that first-hand in our communities as our government has created more spaces and made them more affordable," said Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. "We know there's still
more work to do to build a future where child care is a core service that's available and affordable for any family that wants it. That's why we will keep working to build more new spaces, and I'm so grateful to our partners who are coming forward to help
make this a reality."
Pam Moore, manager, Qualicum First Nation Child Care Centre, said: "On behalf of Qualicum First Nation and the child care centre, we are looking forward to receiving
funding to build a new infant and toddler centre to serve all families in the local community. This, along with our application for $10 a Day funding, will see affordable and accessible child care for children up to three years old. Together with our child
care centre for children three to five years and our after-school centre, we will be able to provide all child care needs for families in the area."
Since 2018, the Province has invested
$2.7 billion in ChildCareBC, including funding more than 26,000 new licensed child care spaces through the New Spaces Fund and other space-creation programs.
"For years, parents in B.C.
were left with a patchwork system where child care was treated as a luxury. As we enter the fifth year of our 10-year ChildCareBC plan, we are making significant progress to reverse this," said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. "We've been working
to turn the corner by building new spaces, lowering fees and training the skilled professionals needed to offer quality child care as a core service available to every family that wants it at a price they can afford."
"Our government is creating new child care spaces in communities throughout B.C. to ensure child care is available when and where families need it," said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education and Child Care. "With some of
the new child care spaces on school grounds, we're able to better integrate child care into the broader learning environment so children can more easily transition from their early care programs into their school community."
New spaces require new early childhood educators (ECEs). A recruitment and retention strategy was included as part of B.C.'s 10-year ChildCareBC plan, launched in 2018. Progress since then includes:
* providing more than 10,000 bursaries to support nearly 6,000 ECE students;
* creating 1,150 new ECE student spaces at post-secondary schools, which more
than doubles the number of seats since 2018; and
* enhancing ECE compensation by $4 per hour.
Budget 2022 builds on
this through a $3.9-million investment over the next three years to add another 390 new ECE seats at public post-secondary institutions in B.C.
As a result of ChildCareBC investments, parents
in Nanaimo-North Cowichan; Parksville-Qualicum; and Tofino-Ucluelet have saved more than $30 million, $8 million, and $11 million respectively.
* In 2022-23, Budget 2022 is providing an additional $30 million for the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund to further expand the number of licensed child care spaces with a focus on spaces for school-aged
* More than 30,000 children receive support through the Affordable Child Care Benefit every month. Parents making less than $45,000 can receive 100% funding and those making as
much as $111,000 can receive partial funding.
* In 2021-22, fee reductions were approved for more than 68,800 child care spaces at more than 3,600 child care facilities in B.C. through
the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
* Through the Canada-British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, the Government of Canada has provided a one-time $49.2-million investment
that will reduce barriers and increase access to post-secondary ECE programs and professional learning to support ECE graduates to transition to the workforce.
For more about ChildCareBC,
The intake for the 2021-22 ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund
opened Sept. 13, 2021, and closed on Nov. 16, 2021. Applications were evaluated against criteria set out in the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund guidelines to align with provincial priorities and with federal direction outlined in the Canada-Wide Early Learning
and Child Care agreement to focus on spaces that are run by public and non-profit institutions.
Priority areas for this intake included child care providers who will deliver on the creation
* infant-toddler child care spaces
* spaces serving priority populations including:
* low-income families
* children with support needs
* Indigenous children and families
* families new to Canada
* young parents (25 years and younger)
Black and other children and families of colour
* francophone children
* spaces co-located with other community or
family services, such as on school grounds (including K-12 and public post-secondary)
* fully inclusive and accessible child care spaces that allow children of all abilities to participate
meaningfully (i.e., accessible physical design and application of program inclusion policy)
* projects with a provincial cost per space of $40,000 or less
The 2022-23 intake of the New Spaces Fund applications will open in spring/summer 2022.