Families in Fort St. John will soon have access to 117 new licensed child care spaces as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to increasing access to child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“These new child care spaces for families in Fort St. John are bringing us one step closer to delivering the quality, affordable and inclusive child care that all B.C. families deserve,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Child care for families is key to B.C.’s economic recovery, and these new spaces will make it easier for parents, especially mothers who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, to pursue their own goals by returning to work or school.”
The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund is supporting four projects to create 117 new licensed child care spaces on school grounds in Fort St. John. These spaces are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history and were part of the September 2020 milestone that marked more than 20,000 new spaces funded throughout the province in just over two years.
Families will be able to access new licensed spaces at the following child care centres:
- Little Griffins Clubhouse (36 spaces)
- Little Kodiaks Clubhouse (27 spaces)
- Little Gators Clubhouse (27 spaces)
- Little Royals Clubhouse (27 spaces)
“School District 60 is pleased to be able to support families in the Fort St. John area by offering affordable before- and after-school child care in four additional schools,” said Helen Gilbert, board chair, School District 60. “Having child care at the local school reduces the number of transitions students have in a day, which is easier for them and their families. The improvements include sensory rooms, along with new playgrounds and outdoor classroom spaces that will benefit all students. The board feels that these new child care spaces are a win for our community."
An additional 4,110 spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, takes the total number of new licensed spaces funded in B.C. to more than 24,500 since July 2017.
- Since July 2018, more than 20,000 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in British Columbia, including 367 in Fort St. John.
- Throughout the province, the Childcare BC plan has helped parents save up to $1,600 a month per child through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
- As a result of these investments, parents in Fort St. John have saved $2.35 million on child care.
- Early childhood educators in Fort St. John have received more than $121,000 in wage enhancements.
- Through B.C.’s combined affordability initiatives, more than 36,000 children have received child care for $10/day or less since the beginning of the Childcare BC plan.
For information on health and safety standards for child care during COVID-19, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/ChildCareCovid-19Response
Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430
To learn more about the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund
For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
A backgrounder follows.