Families in Cawston will have access to 40 new licensed child care spaces as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to increase child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“Adding child care to school grounds is a win for everyone, and these new spaces at the Ntamtqen Child Care Centre will give kids a smoother transition into kindergarten, while also offering working parents more before- and after-school care options,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “I’m proud our government is working with the Lower Similkameen Indian Band to create new, culturally relevant, licensed child care spaces that will offer local children a safe and caring place to learn and grow for generations.”
Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund is supporting the Lower Similkameen Indian Band to create 16 group child care spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten, and 24 school-age spaces at the Ntamtqen Child Care Centre, which is expected to open in December 2021.
“The Lower Similkameen Band Leadership and our education department programs have always maintained that our children are our greatest resource,” said Chief Keith Crow. “With the generous contribution from the Province towards the Ntamtqen Child Care Centre, we are able to introduce our small children to a safe, friendly and culturally orientated environment that puts them on their path as future proud members and leaders of our community.”
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
- This investment means 40 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in Cawston 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 Cawston, visit the Penticton Child Care Resource and Referral centre: http://oneskycommunity.com/early-childhood/ccrr-resources/
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
A backgrounder follows.