The Province is supporting the creation of approximately 1,700 new licensed child-care spaces under the third phase of the Child Care Major Capital Funding Program, announced Surrey-Panorama MLA Marvin Hunt on behalf of Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux.
“These new spaces are part of government’s commitment, under the B.C. Early Years Strategy, to create a total of 13,000 licensed child-care spaces across the province by 2020,” said Hunt during a sod-turning celebration at Wind & Tide Preschool and Child Care Centre in Surrey. Wind & Tide, received funding in June as part of Phase 2 Child Care Major Capital funding to create 16 group child-care spaces, 18 new pre-school spaces, and build a new playground at their Relate Church campus in Surrey.
“Birth to six years of age is the most influential time in a child’s life, and we are committed to providing excellence in care, paying teachers professional-level wages and keeping tuition rates moderate,” said Wind & Tide chief executive officer Cari Shorrock. “Receiving a portion of the Child Care Major Capital funding has gone a long way to help us create quality child-care and early childhood education spaces for even more of our local families.”
During Phase 3, which is open from Nov. 30, 2015 to Feb. 26, 2016, child-care providers can apply for up to $500,000 (non-profit providers), or up to $250,000 (private child-care organizations) to help build new child-care spaces in their communities.
Priority for these new spaces will be given to organizations that will:
- Create spaces on school grounds, where children can smoothly transition from early years programs, to the classroom, to after-school care.
- Create spaces that are co-located with other family-support programs in community-based settings, including BC Early Years Centres, recreation centres and family resource programs.
- Create child-care spaces in underserved areas of B.C.
“Surrey is one of B.C.’s fastest-growing communities, and they are a shining example of a community that is currently under-served due to the high demand for quality child-care spaces here,” said Hunt. “The Province invites private and non-profit organizations from across B.C. to apply for funding under Phase 3 so more parents, like the ones at Wind & Tide, can access great child care for their kids.”
As with the previous phase of capital projects, funding can be used to:
- Build a new child-care facility, including the cost of buying land or a building.
- Buy and assemble a modular building and develop a site.
- Renovate an existing building or classroom.
- Buy eligible equipment (including playground equipment) and furnishings to support the types of projects listed above.
The ministry will hold four public Major Capital Information Sessions offered via teleconference on: Dec. 14 and 15, 2015; Jan. 20, 2016 and Feb. 3, 2016. More information on the capital funding program, including information sessions, applications and criteria, is available at: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare/major_capital.htm
The new spaces that are created as part of Phase 3 are in addition to the more than 2,400 new child-care spaces government supported with roughly $15.2 million between November 2014 and June 2015, and continue to build on the more than 111,000 licensed child-care spaces currently funded across the province.
- Originating in 1987, Wind & Tide Early Preschool and Child Care Centres serve over 2000 children daily across the Lower Mainland.
- To help with the costs of raising a young child, government introduced the new B.C. Early Childhood Tax Benefit in April 2015. The benefit provides $146 million annually to approximately 180,000 families with children under the age of six (up to $55 a month per child).
- The Province also provides child-care subsidies to help low-income families afford child care – helping about 21,000 children and their families each month.
- While fees for individual child care facilities are set by their operators, government provides operating funding to facilities to help cut down on the costs passed on to parents.
For more information on the capital funding program, including applications and criteria, visit: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare/major_capital.htm
To learn more about the Child Care Subsidy, including eligibility and how to apply, visit: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare/subsidy/index.htm
To learn more about the current range of early years services in B.C. and the BC Early Years Strategy, which aims to make programs and services more integrated, accessible, affordable and higher quality, visit: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/early_childhood/pdf/FamiliesAgenda_EarlyYearsStrategy_web.pdf
To learn more about the BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit, visit: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare/tax_benefit.htm
For more information about Wind & Tide Preschool and Child Care Centres, visit: www.windandtide.com