Child care is getting less expensive and easier to find in Sidney as the Province invests in 74 new child care spaces to give more parents the option to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.
“I am proud to be part of a government that is investing in child care in communities both big and small,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “These new spaces will give Sidney parents the option to go back to work or school and give children a safe place to learn, grow and socialize in their most formative years.”
Through Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund, Lulu’s Kids Corporation is creating 24 new infant/toddler spaces and 50 for children aged three to school age. The centre promotes an inclusive environment with a fully accessible building and support staff for children with special needs.
“Early childhood education is such an important period of time, and the provision of progressive, inclusive, and for-childhood programming to support our youth and families adds so much to the future of our communities,” said Mary Sutherland, centre director. “Lulu’s main drive is to do just that, and to have the support of the New Spaces Fund means we are able to make that vision a reality.”
When complete, the centre will boast four programming spaces, four quiet areas and 307 square metres (3,300 square feet) of adaptable outdoor space. A vegetable garden and open-air concept will allow children to connect to the natural world. The use of natural landscaping will promote movement, imaginary play and encourage body awareness and balance.
Nearly 90 new, affordable licensed child care spaces in Sidney have been funded by the Province since the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund launched in July 2018. They are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history, with more than 10,400 funded in the past 15 months.
“Families across the province need access to quality, affordable child care and early childhood education,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. “We recognize that investing in child care supports working families and is critical in setting up our children for success.”
With the addition of 900 spaces funded through partnerships with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and Aboriginal Head Start using federal funding, and 4,100 spaces created through the 2017 Budget Update, more than 15,400 spaces have been funded in B.C.
Since launching in February 2018, the Childcare BC plan has helped parents in Sidney save more than $818,000 through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
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.
- The Province has made significant investments to improve supports for B.C.’s early care and learning professionals.
- To date, the Province has invested more than $13 million to provide more than 10,000 early childhood educators with a $1-per-hour wage enhancement, with another $1-per-hour lift to come in April 2020. This includes more than $26,000 for early childhood educators in the Sidney region.
For more 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 community, view the online child care map: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/
Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430
For more information about child care in Sidney, visit the Vancouver Island Child Care Resource and Referral Centre: http://vancouverislandccrr.ca/index-4.html