More parents in Nanaimo will have the option to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities as the Province invests in more than 200 new licensed child care spaces.
“Since launching our Childcare BC plan four years ago, I have heard from many families in our community who are benefiting from increased spaces and decreased costs,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “Today, we continue that work by announcing hundreds of new child care spaces in the Nanaimo region, which will help ensure that families, and especially mothers, who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, can participate in our province’s pandemic recovery.”
The Province is supporting six projects to create 207 new licensed child care spaces in Nanaimo:
- Cilaire Elementary Learning and Child Care Centre (52 spaces)
- Georgia Avenue Elementary Learning and Child Care Centre (52 spaces)
- Pleasant Valley Elementary Learning and Child Care Centre (52 spaces)
- École Quarterway Elementary Child Care Centre (24 spaces)
- Munu (Infant Toddler) (11 spaces)
- Nanaimo Innovation Academy (16 spaces)
“On behalf of the Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ Board of Education, we want to thank the provincial government for its significant investment that will create additional child care options for families in need,” said Charlene McKay, chair, Nanaimo-Ladysmith Board of Education. “Finding affordable child care close to home can be a challenge for many families. We will continue to work closely with the ministry in identifying areas most in need, today and in the future.”
In addition, 15 other projects have received funding in Nanaimo since the launch of Childcare BC in July 2018, including the Nanaimo Innovation Academy, which previously received provincial funding and opened 15 new spaces in January 2021.
“Nanaimo is a fast-growing community, attracting young families from across the province, which means the need for quality, affordable and inclusive child care continues to outpace availability,” said Keely Freeman, founder, Nanaimo Innovation Academy. “The support we’ve received from the Province allows us to offer more families a chance to join our daycare program. I’m so proud to be able to do my part to help improve access to child care in our community.”
The Province has funded almost 26,000 new licensed spaces since the launch of Childcare BC – more than 6,000 of which are now open.
“For far too long families in Nanaimo have found it difficult to find child care, and these new projects will provide much-needed relief for working parents,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Improving access to affordable, quality and inclusive child care spaces gives kids the best possible start and is critical to supporting families and communities.”
An additional 4,370 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 child care spaces funded since July 2017 to more than 29,300.
- Since July 2018, almost 26,000 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in British Columbia, including 1,175 spaces in Nanaimo.
- The Childcare BC plan has helped parents save up to $1,600 a month, per child, for a total of over $680 million through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
- As a result of these investments, parents in Nanaimo have saved more than $12.5 million.
- Early childhood educators in Nanaimo have received over $720,000 in wage enhancements.
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
For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
A backgrounder follows.