Families at two child care facilities in the Nechako Lakes area are now paying no more than $200 a month per child as part of the B.C. government’s universal child care prototype project.
“These two centres are a perfect example of what we believe child care should be: offering fully inclusive care to children with extra support needs, as well as teaching children about local Indigenous culture and language,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care.
Little Angels Daycare in Burns Lake and the Beanstalk Childcare Centre in Houston are two of more than 50 sites chosen to offer low-cost child care to B.C. parents.
Little Angels Daycare is run by Burns Lake Band and offers opportunities for children to take part in cultural activities, such as drumming, dancing and learning their traditional language. The centre also offers care to children with extra support needs by providing early intervention services with speech therapists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists to families who may need these supports.
The Beanstalk Childcare Centre incorporates Indigenous books, art and language into its daily programming to help children learn about local Indigenous culture. In addition, the centre offers fully inclusive child care, with services available to children who may have extra support needs. Beanstalk is the only licensed child care facility in the community.
“We committed to introduce affordable, accessible and quality child care for every parent and community who wants it,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. ”These spaces are the first step to making that vision a reality, and we’re excited to be working with providers throughout the province to make life better for B.C. families.”
The Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites will model what high-quality, affordable, universal child care may look like for B.C. families. This funding will allow these two providers to offer more than 100 low-cost licensed child care spaces to parents in Nechako Lakes. In all, parents of around 2,500 children will benefit from these new universal child care sites throughout the province.
This project is funded through a $60-million investment as part of the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada. It complements the Province’s $1-billion, three-year investment through Childcare BC to move toward its long-term vision of affordable, accessible and quality child care for any family that needs it.
Parents who are not accessing these low-cost spaces may still be eligible for support through the Affordable Child Care Benefit, which provides up to $1,250 per child a month for families with an annual income of $111,000 or less. Families using licensed child care may also see savings through the Child Care Fee Reduction, which has so far helped to reduce the cost of almost 52,000 child care spaces around the province.
For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
For more information about universal child care prototype sites, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/prototypesites
To learn more about the Affordable Child Care Benefit, and to apply, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/affordablechildcarebenefit
For more information about the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative and approved providers, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/optin