As parents return to work, the Province is making affordable, quality child care more accessible for families in Richmond by investing in 258 new licensed spaces, scheduled to open in early 2021.
“Providing quality, affordable, inclusive child care goes hand-in-hand with a strong, vibrant economy,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “These new spaces will allow parents to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities to build better futures for their families.”
The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund is supporting the creation of 108 new infant-toddler spaces and 150 spaces for three to five year olds at the Royal Academy.
Located in a renovated commercial space at 3600 Viking Way, the one-storey building will be fully wheelchair accessible, with 3.4-metre-wide (11 feet) hallways, a playground, library, indoor gym and music room. Ample parking is available. The outdoor play space will feature a wheelchair trail that can also be used as a biking area. The facility will offer a monthly parenting workshop on topics such as nutrition, wellness, screen time and physical activity. In addition, the facility will also offer care on Saturdays and extended hours on Thursdays until 8 p.m.
“Opening these new spaces will make life easier for so many families who are worried about where their children will be cared for as they return to work,” said Jessica Zhou, director, Royal Academy. “This renovation includes a 7,620-square-metre (25,000-square-foot) playground, which means children will have plenty of outdoor space to run around and parents can trust that their children will be able to play and grow in a safe, healthy environment.”
These new spaces in Richmond are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history. They were included in 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, takes 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 towards its “new normal” under COVID-19, child care capital builds 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.
- Alderwood House School in Richmond was selected to deliver low-cost child care as one of more than 50 Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites. The centre provides 35 child care spaces: 12 infant/toddler, 23 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 important work they do.
More information on health and safety standards for child care, plus the latest COVID-19 related child care information, is available at: 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 the Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcareprototypesites
For more information on child care in Richmond, visit: https://rcrg.org/WhatWeDo/RCRGPrograms/child-care-resource-referral-centre