Local child care needs from now through 2029 are the focus of $3 million in municipal planning grants that will help ensure communities are responsive to young families.
“These planning grants will help municipalities and regional districts assess their current child care circumstances and identify what local families will need over the next decade,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “Local governments know best the unique needs in their communities, and working together makes us stronger and better able to respond quickly.”
Local governments will use their grants to create an inventory of existing child care spaces, identify how many child care spaces are needed now and how many will be needed over the coming years, as well as the type of child care that is needed. They will then draft an action plan to create these spaces and work with their school districts, local health authorities, Indigenous partners and other key child care stakeholders to build these plans. This information will be shared with the Ministry of Children and Family Development to help inform future provincial child care investments.
More than 70 local governments applied for up to $25,000 each to plan for the long-term child care needs of families in their communities, with some governments choosing to work collaboratively with nearby communities.
“We can’t solve the child care shortage on our own. Municipalities know the needs of families in their communities, and this insight will make sure that child care investments are strategic and new spaces are created where they are most needed,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “We know that when families have access to affordable, quality child care spaces where they live, it is good for our communities. Local businesses thrive and families have more stability.”
The funding comes from the Community Child Care Planning Program, and is the first step in a $3-million partnership launched in September 2018 between the Province and the Union of British Columbia Muncipalities (UBCM).
“This program will strengthen local government knowledge of child care needs in our communities,” said Arjun Singh, UBCM president. “I appreciate the integrated approach involving multiple stakeholders and believe there will be long-term improvements to the overall availability and quality of child care services.”
In addition to the Community Child Care Planning Program, the Province launched the $13.7-million Community Child Care Space Creation Program in September 2018 in partnership with UBCM and funded through the Canada – BC Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. This program will provide local governments with up to $1 million and support the creation of new licensed child care spaces, with a focus on infant and toddler care. Successful applicants will be announced in the coming weeks.
- For Indigenous communities, the ministry is investing $3.6 million over three years to support 11 new early learning and child care planning and navigator positions to help address the specific needs of Indigenous children, families and communities throughout the province.
- Under Childcare BC, the Province is investing more than $1.3 billion in child care to lay the foundation for a universal child care system. Investments in new licensed child care spaces address the Province’s commitment to making child care more accessible and complement its goals of improving supports for child care professionals and working with the sector to make child care more affordable for B.C. families.
- Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
For more information on the partnership with UBCM, visit:
To learn more about child care in B.C., visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
Childcare BC factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430
To view the backgrounder for this release, with the full list of approved communities and the funding they will receive, visit: