Parents in Fort St. John who want to go back to school or return to work but need child care have more opportunities to do so, with two new child care centres in their community.
The Province is investing $1.2 million under the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to help create 52 spaces at Wiggles and Giggles Group Daycare – its second location, which opened in April 2019 – and 61 spaces at Anne Roberts Young Elementary School Daycare, expected to open in July 2020. Wiggles and Giggles received $198,525, while Peace River North School District 60 received $1 million.
“As the population of Fort St. John continues to grow, so does the need for more quality, licensed child care spaces,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “This funding, and the 113 spaces it will create, allows parents to embrace new opportunities and plan a brighter future for their families.”
Wiggles and Giggles provides children with morning and afternoon snacks and also supplies lunch to children in need at no additional cost to parents. In order to promote social skills, an emotion coach has introduced the children to Tucker the Turtle, a program that helps them learn about and manage their emotions, and how to interact with others.
“We’ve been trying to expand our current facility for the last five years and the funding from the Province made it possible for us to move forward with this growth,” said Adam Reaburn, owner, Wiggles and Giggles Group Daycare. “This facility is helping to fill some of the need in our community and we’re excited to help.”
School District 60 ensured several designated spaces at the centre will be reserved for children of employees from Fort St. John Regional Hospital located across the street. The partnership with Northern Health will help in recruiting and retaining health professionals. The YMCA will operate the child care centre once it opens.
“School District 60 has a long, successful history of innovative community partnerships, and the Board of Education is thrilled that the Province has provided capital support for a second daycare facility to be attached to our newest elementary school,” said Ida Campbell, board chair, School District 60. “The additional daycare spaces will help with recruitment and retention of community employees who require much-needed child care services. We are pleased to again work with the YMCA of Northern BC as licence holder.”
Under the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, child care providers can apply at any time throughout the year under a new continuous application process.
The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund is part of the Province’s Childcare BC plan and supports its commitment to provide B.C. families with access to affordable, quality child care when they want or need it. Since July 2018, the Province has funded more than 4,900 new licensed child care spaces through Childcare BC. More new spaces will be announced as projects are approved.
Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Amanda Alexander, CEO, YMCA of Northern BC —
“Our partnership with the Peace River North School District fully recognizes, values and is proactive in ensuring that parents, families and children experience both a smooth connection and transition between child care and education. Fostering quality early learning is a value and goal that we are working collaboratively together to achieve."
For more information about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
To learn more about the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund and to apply, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund
To find child care in a nearby community, view the online child care map: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/
Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430
Parents who need information about choosing child care, or want a list of registered and licensed child care centres in their area, can get help through their local child care resource and referral centre or by visiting: www.ccrr.bc.ca/
For more information about Wiggles and Giggles Group Daycare, visit: http://wigglesandgigglesdaycare.ca/
For information about School District #60 early learning, visit: https://earlylearning.prn.bc.ca/
For information about YMCA of Northern BC child care, visit: http://nbc.ymca.ca/child-care/