As parents return to work, the Province is making affordable, quality child care more accessible for families in Abbotsford by investing in 48 new licensed spaces, scheduled to open in July 2020.
“As we gradually move towards our ‘new normal’ under COVID-19, it’s vital that we continue our work through Childcare BC to give families across B.C. access to quality, affordable and inclusive child care,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “These new spaces at Little Leaders will help to boost the local economy and get parents back to work, while at the same time, giving kids the opportunity to try new activities, experience new cultures and develop the skills they need to succeed.”
The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund is supporting the creation of 24 infant/toddler spaces, and 24 spaces for children aged three to five years, at the Little Leaders Childcare Centre.
“As the demand for child care increases, it is a child care provider’s responsibility to provide the service, but without financial support, it becomes a costly and unattainable venture,” said Suki Gill, director, Little Leaders Childcare Centre. “Applying for the New Spaces grant was the only way to move forward with this new centre, and these funds have allowed for the renovation of a commercial space that will provide child care for local families right up to kindergarten.”
Located on the corner of McCallum and King Road and adjacent to the freeway, this facility will work with local organizations to provide inclusive care for children with extra support needs. It offers an enriching play-based program that follows the early learning framework. Activities will include child-directed learning at learning centres, circle time, art, yoga and large movement, music, weekly baking opportunities and a soccer program in the summer.
The covered outdoor play space allows for the extension of indoor activities in all weather conditions. Bilingual staff help to ensure that the needs of all communities are met and families are supported in their search for high-quality care.
These new spaces in Abbotsford are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history. They were included in the March 2020’s milestone announcement of 13,000 new spaces the Province has funded since July 2018.
An additional 4,100 spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, brings the total to more than 17,000 new licensed spaces since July 2017.
Since launching in February 2018, the Childcare BC plan has helped parents save almost $500 million through the Affordable Child Care Benefit (ACCB) and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (CCFRI). Over 69,500 children have been approved for ACCB benefit plans since the start of the program. Currently, over 61,000 licensed child care spaces are approved to receive CCFRI funding.
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.
- As the Province moves toward its “new normal” under COVD-19, child care projects may see unexpected delays.
- Once operational, child care providers will be required to follow guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control to keep staff and the families they serve safe and to limit the risk of transmission.
- Little Leaders Childcare Centre has an additional facility at #4-33575 Mayfair Ave., offering 40 spaces for children aged three to five years.
- To date, the Province has invested more than $19 million to provide nearly 12,000 early childhood educators with a $1-per-hour wage enhancement, which increased to $2 per hour in April 2020, to better recognize the work they do.
More information on health and safety standards for child care, plus the latest COVID-19 related child care information, is available online: www.gov.bc.ca/ChildCareCovid-19Response
For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
To learn more about the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund
To find child care in your community, view the online child care map: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/
For more information on child care in Abbotsford, visit: www.abbotsfordccrr.ca/