Families at Kinderplace Okanagan Similkameen Neurological Society (OSNS) Child and Youth Development Centre are now paying no more than $200 a month per child as part of a B.C. government universal child care prototype project.
“The name Kinderplace is appropriate because the centre welcomes children of all abilities, while focusing on the unique needs of each child,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “It’s a place where young families can connect to the supports and resources they need. Thanks to Kinderplace being chosen as a prototype site, parents can now focus on the well-being of their kids instead of on the high cost of care.”
Kinderplace is one of 53 sites chosen to offer low-cost child care to B.C. parents. Specializing in early intervention programs, the centre is highly inclusive with approximately half the children requiring extra supports. The learning environment for these children is enhanced through the use of specialized equipment and programming, along with personalized care from staff at a one-to-one, or two-to-one, level.
“Our centre is deeply invested in projects that empower parents and improve the lives of families in our community, and we are genuinely excited to be a universal prototype site,” said Manisha Willms, executive director of OSNS. “We know that investments in early development ripple out to physical wellness, emotional wellness and stronger communities, and many of our families have already described this program as life changing.”
Kinderplace also connects children and their families to additional in-house resources, such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy and autism treatment. Children of varying ages and abilities learn together with a focus on a play-based curriculum that creates an active and fun learning environment. Kinderplace staff are supported with regular mentorship sessions, so they can continue to learn and advance their skills in order to meet the unique needs of the kids they serve.
“Childcare BC and the universal child care prototype project stress inclusivity, because all children deserve the highest quality child care and early learning experiences we can give them,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “Kinderplace and its commitment to specialized care is a testament to this principle and a shining example of how universal child care should be inclusive care as well.”
The Universal Childcare BC Prototype Sites will model what high-quality, affordable, universal child care may look like for B.C. families. This funding will allow Kinderplace to offer 74 low-cost, licensed child care spaces to parents in Penticton. In all, parents of more than 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 per 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 Initiative, 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 find child care in B.C., visit a Child Care Resource and Referral Centre, or search the online child care map at: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/
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