Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development, and Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care, have issued the following joint statement to celebrate the end of a successful Child Care Month in B.C.:
“After just the first two months of launching the new Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, we are excited that over 1,800 providers have already been approved to opt in to our plan, and have helped us deliver nearly $12 million to parents, to help with the costs of raising their young families. Currently, 37,209 child care spaces are available at a lower cost through the initiative. The ministry continues to review and assess applications, with 85% of eligible providers applying to opt in to the initiative, to date.
“The success of this groundbreaking initiative belongs to parents and providers, who are committing to a new long-term social-policy direction designed to put affordable child care within reach for all families. The ministry’s operational capacity has been enhanced to work more closely with the child care sector than ever before. Over the summer, we will continue to move towards the delivery of our second affordability measure for parents — the new Affordable Child Care Benefit — which will be introduced on Sept. 1, 2018.
“In addition to taming skyrocketing child care fees, May 2018 also marked several announcements to support vulnerable populations, and a provincewide tour to meet with parents and child care providers. Feedback from the tour, and recent telephone town halls — where we had over 11,600 people on the lines to learn more about Childcare BC — will be used to further shape government’s long-term vision for child care.
“One of the highlights of the tour was visiting Indigenous child care providers, like the Mem7iman Child Development Centre in the Sechelt Nation, and seeing first-hand how Indigenous cultural practices can be integrated into early-childhood development curriculum. We also got to experience this at an event in Prince George, to celebrate the $30-million expansion of Aboriginal Head Start (AHS) programs in B.C. These programs provide culturally appropriate child care and parenting resources for Indigenous children under the age of six, and their families.
“As well as this, we visited the North Shore Neighbourhood House to announce $3 million for Young Parent Programs (YPP) in B.C. that allow parents under the age of 24 to access free child care while they finish their high school educations. The program gives young parents the strong foundations they need to provide a better future for their families.
“It’s an exciting time for child care in B.C. We’ve already taken steps to improve the system, and build towards government’s vision of providing parents with access to affordable, quality child care no matter where they are in B.C. — but there’s more to do. The coming weeks will bring updates to capital funding programs to support the creation of 22,000 new spaces over the next three years, and support child care providers to maintain current spaces. We’ll also be able to provide more information on how we can better support early childhood educators in B.C.
“We’re grateful to be working with parents and passionate professionals to change the face of B.C.’s child care system. Together, we can make a lasting difference to B.C. children and their parents.”
Childcare BC: www.childcare.gov.bc.ca
To see a list of the child care providers who are participating in the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/caring-for-young-children/running-daycare-preschool/child-care-operating-funding/child-care-fee-reduction-initiative-provider-opt-in-status
For more information about Aboriginal Head Start on Reserve, visit: http://www.fnha.ca/what-we-do/maternal-child-and-family-health/aboriginal-head-start-on-reserve
For more information about Aboriginal Head Start in urban communities, visit: www.ahsabc.com
Child Care Awards of Excellence: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/caring-for-young-children/child-care/child-care-awards-2018