Families in Victoria will soon have access to 133 new licensed child care spaces as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to increasing child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“From day one it has been our government’s priority to deliver child care in a way that works for parents,” said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin. “The Pacifica Housing Oak Park 2 project will create 81 new affordable housing units with an onsite child care facility, so that low- and middle-income families in the Westshore can access this vital service mere steps from where they live.”
Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund is supporting the following four projects to create 133 new licensed child care spaces for families:
- Infant Plus Daycare Centre – 32 spaces
- Green House Studio – six spaces
- Pacifica Housing Burnside – 59 spaces
- Pacifica Housing Oak Park 2 – 36 spaces
July 2020 marks the second anniversary of the launch of the New Spaces Fund, which has approved an average of 700 new spaces for funding each month. So far, nearly 16,800 new spaces have been funded throughout the province, helping parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.
“Our government is investing in child care spaces in James Bay so that families can be rest assured their kids are learning and thriving in a quality facility,” said Carole James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. “I’m proud we are supporting the important initiatives the James Bay Child Care Society has taken on, including providing workplace opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities and hosting practicum students from Camosun College.”
These new spaces are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history. An additional 4,100 spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, means that more than 20,900 new licensed spaces have been funded since July 2017.
“Our communities are stronger when parents are able to access child care close to where they live, work and play,” said Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake. “Our government is supporting the Pacifica Housing Project, which will transform Burnside Elementary school into a housing development, including a child care facility, as well as a public park and gathering space, so that families don’t have to travel far to enjoy life here in Victoria.”
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.
“Providing quality, affordable and inclusive child care goes hand in hand with a strong, vibrant economy,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “By funding nearly 16,800 new licensed spaces throughout the province, our government is helping more parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities knowing that when they drop their kids off in the morning, they’ll get the nurturing support they need to grow and thrive.”
- This investment means 1,419 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in Victoria since July 2018.
- 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.
For information on health and safety standards for child care, visit: 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
For more information on child care in Victoria, visit the Victoria child care resource and referral centre: https://www.childcarevictoria.org/
To find child care in your 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 on the Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcareprototypesites
Two backgrounders follow.