Families in Kitimat will soon have access to 60 new licensed child care spaces as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to increasing child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“Partnering with the District of Kitimat will help create a community hub that will provide wraparound supports for local families and the community at large,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “This new facility will have housing and support services for women, as well as round-the-clock child care to support parents who work shifts at projects like the LNG Canada site. This will give them the freedom to work while knowing their children are well cared for.”
The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund is supporting the District of Kitimat to create 12 infant and toddler spaces, 16 school-age spaces and 32 group multi-age child care spaces at the Tamitik Status of Women (TSW) 24-Hour Childcare Facility. TSW will operate the facility through a partnership with Haisla Nation. The centre is expected to open in summer 2022.
“The Tamitik Status of Women non-profit society has worked tirelessly to foster equality and opportunity in our community,” said Phil Germuth, mayor, District of Kitimat. “This provincial funding will allow them to open B.C.’s first 24-hour child care centre and subsequently enable all community residents to take advantage of the many around-the-clock career opportunities, knowing their children have a safe place to learn and grow.”
The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund has provided funding for an average of 700 new licensed spaces each month. So far, more than 16,800 new spaces have been funded throughout the province, helping parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities to help support their families.
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 20,200 new licensed spaces have been funded since July 2017.
“By working in partnership with local municipalities, Indigenous governments, non-profits, school districts and other partners we are creating child care spaces that meet the unique needs of communities across our province,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Together, we are getting closer to our goal of giving B.C. families the quality, affordable child care they deserve.”
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.
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 Kitimat, visit the Terrace Women’s Resource Centre Society: http://twrcs.ca/programs/skeena-child-care-and-resource-referral/
Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430
A backgrounder follows.