Families in 30 B.C. communities will soon benefit from 1,818 new licensed child-care spaces, thanks to a nearly $11.3-million investment from the Province through the Child Care Major Capital Funding Program, announced Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux from the BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) Student Association Child Care Centre.
The BCIT Student Association Child Care Centre is one of the places that will receive funding through the third intake of the Child Care Major Capital Funding Program. The centre is receiving $500,000 to create 37 new spaces – 12 for infants and toddlers and 25 for children aged three to five.
- Build a new child-care facility, including the cost of buying land or a building,
- Purchase and assemble a modular building and develop a site,
- Renovate an existing building,
- And/or buy eligible equipment (including playground equipment) and furnishings to support new child-care spaces in an existing facility.
As stated in the selection criteria outlined as part of the application process, priority was placed on applications proposing to create child-care spaces in underserved areas of B.C. – including Surrey, Richmond, Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam – and on school grounds, where children can smoothly transition from early years programs, to the classroom and to before- and after-school care.
The organizations receiving funding from the third intake period will create 449 child-care spaces on school grounds and 948 child-care spaces in other facilities, 421 of which are co-located with other early years and family programs – including BC Early Years centres in Pitt Meadows and the Comox Valley – thus creating a comprehensive one-stop shop for parents looking for easy access to a range of early years and family services and supports.
The Province is now in the process of working with the successful proponents to establish project agreements that include the specific requirements that providers have identified for each site, such as the need to lease or buy property, obtain local zoning permits and hire contractors to renovate the sites. Construction and renovations for the majority of the approved projects are expected to begin shortly; however, each site’s timelines for completion will differ, depending on their individual proposal requirements.
Since November 2014, MCFD has invested $26.5 million to support the creation of more than 4,300 new licensed child-care spaces in B.C. as part of government’s commitment to create 13,000 spaces by 2020. This builds on the more than 111,000 licensed child-care spaces that are currently funded throughout the province.
Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux –
“Finding quality child care is key for parents who are heading back to work or pursuing higher education or training. These new licensed spaces will help bring peace of mind to thousands of B.C. parents who can drop their kids off in the morning knowing they’ll be well cared for in a rich learning environment.”
Burnaby North MLA Richard T. Lee –
“Burnaby is a growing community, and many families here are looking for child care. The BCIT child care centre already has a great reputation in the community, so I know these additional spaces will be in high demand.”
Dylan Smith, BCIT Student Association president –
“Funding from the Child Care Major Capital Funding Program means that we will be able to provide quality child care to more families. This means that more students and members of the BCIT community will be able to manage the challenges of the present while securing a better future for themselves and their families.”
Andy Liu, parent –
“As a BCIT student, I am so glad to have access to quality child care as I pursue my studies. The creation of new child-care spaces will mean that more of my friends and colleagues will have access to child care, and the peace of mind that comes with it.”
Wayne Robertson, chair of the Provincial Child Care Council –
“This new investment will help provide families with more options when they’re looking for child care throughout the province.”
- This major capital announcement is the last in a number of activities the Ministry of Children and Family Development announced as part of Child Care Month in B.C.
- Other announcements include:
- $500,000 for the Early Childhood Education Bursary, bringing the total Provincial investment to $2.13M since 2014;
- Child Care Awards of Excellence and Child Care Legacy Awards, which recognize the outstanding dedication of B.C.’s child-care providers, early childhood educators and child-care facilities.
- The launch of a new Child Care Map, which will make it easier for parents to search for child-care options in their communities.
- The ministry has committed $327.8 million for child care in 2016-17, a 56% increase since 2000-01.
- As part of that commitment, the ministry also provides Child Care Operating Funding directly to child-care providers to help them keep costs down so fewer costs are passed on to parents.
- MCFD also invests up to $119.9 million annually on the Child Care Subsidy program, which currently supports approximately 20,000 children and their families each month throughout B.C.
- Effective April 1, 2016, child-support payments no longer influence eligibility for parents already receiving or applying for monthly child-care subsidies. This means that more B.C. parents will get additional help with the cost of child care each month.
- To further 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).
For more information about child care in B.C., please visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
To check out the new Child Care Map, please visit: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/
If you are a child-care operator and would like more information about funding, please visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcareoperatingfunding
For more information on the Child Care Major Capital Funding Program, including applications and criteria, visit: http://goo.gl/hGtYYB
For more information on the BCIT Student Association Child Care Centre, visit: www.bcitsa.ca/student-services/child-care/
A backgrounder follows.