Families on Vancouver Island will soon have access to nearly 340 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.
“Having access to child care is fundamental for people to be able to take advantage of all the opportunities their communities have to offer,” said Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island. “We know that having secure child care spaces is vital to the future of Tahsis, just like rural and remote communities everywhere. We also know that when it comes to delivering services people count on, different regions have different needs.”
The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund is supporting nine projects to create 336 new licensed child care spaces in Greater Victoria, Sooke, Tahsis and North Saanich. 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.
“Government has been working hard, in collaboration with communities of all sizes, to make sure people can get access to child care—no matter whether they live in Tahsis or Greater Victoria,” Babchuk said. “These investments in new spaces will help give kids a great start in life and level the playing field for young families all around the Island.”
New child care spaces are on the way for families in the following communities:
- Greater Victoria (210 spaces)
- Sooke (62 spaces)
- Tahsis (eight spaces)
- North Saanich (56 spaces)
“As with other small, rural and remote communities in B.C., infrastructure and service solutions in Tahsis require a high level of collaboration, creativity and commitment on behalf of local stakeholders and partners – child care is no exception,” said Martin Davis, mayor, Village of Tahsis. “The village, school district and other stakeholders came together to support this project, which will not only save the community’s only daycare, but enhance the service for children and families.”
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.
“These new child care spaces for families on Vancouver Island 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 return to work or school.”
- Since July 2018, more than 20,000 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in British Columbia, including 1,630 spaces in Greater Victoria, 84 spaces in Sooke and 213 spaces in North Saanich and the surrounding areas.
- 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 Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
- As a result of these investments, parents in Victoria, North Saanich, Sooke and Tahsis have saved almost $50 million on child care.
- Early childhood educators in these communities have received more than $3 million 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
For a French translation, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021CFD0020-000340#translations
A backgrounder follows.