More parents in the Fraser Valley will be able to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities as the Province invests in nearly 240 new licensed child care spaces, 110 of which are expected to be open this fall.
“As the population of the Fraser Valley continues to grow, these new child care spaces are welcomed with open arms,” said Pam Alexis, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission. “Our government knows how important available child care is, and we’re delivering. This addition means more children and parents in our communities will be able to benefit from these spaces run by B.C.'s incredible child care providers.”
The Province is supporting four projects to create 239 new licensed child care spaces in Abbotsford, Agassiz, Chilliwack and Hope:
- Abbotsford (99 spaces)
- Agassiz (30 spaces)
- Chilliwack (78 spaces)
- Hope (32 spaces)
“Our organization takes a holistic approach to early learning, where we support the ‘whole’ child, with access to a range of services tailored to their individual needs,” said Navneet Suhi, Fraser River Centre of Early Childhood Development and Family Services. “Along with our implementation of the BC Early Learning Framework curriculum, the child care centre will also have two on-site nature-based playgrounds and a garden centre for children to continue to enhance their learning.”
In addition, 14 other projects have also received funding in the Fraser Valley since the launch of Childcare BC in July 2018. This includes Symmetry Early Learning Centre, which opened 25 new licensed child care spaces in February 2021.
“We appreciate the support of the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund that allowed us to upgrade our facility and outdoor play area to offer more spaces,” said Elly Jung, owner, Symmetry Early Learning Centre. “Parents are excited to send their children to a space where they know they’ll have an enriched experience, and thanks to this support we can continue to serve the wonderful families in Abbotsford with pride and enthusiasm.”
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.
“As we enter the fourth year of our 10-year Childcare BC plan, thousands of families are already feeling the life-changing impact of having affordable, quality and inclusive child care,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “As we continue to build towards an inclusive universal child care system, these new spaces will make it easier for parents, especially mothers, to pursue their own goals, while also being part of B.C.’s economic recovery.”
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 766 in Abbotsford and 498 in Chilliwack.
- The Childcare BC plan has helped parents save up to $1,600 a month, per child, for a total of over $770 million through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
- As a result of these investments, parents in Abbotsford, the Chilliwack-Kent region (including Agassiz, Chilliwack) and the Fraser-Nicola region (including Hope) have saved nearly $19 million, more than $9 million, more than $8 million and more than $4 million, respectively.
- Early childhood educators have received:
- more than $1.18 million in Abbotsford;
- more than $460,000 in the Chilliwack-Kent region, including Agassiz;
- more than $300,000 in Chilliwack; and
- more than $170,000 in the Fraser-Nicola region, including Hope, 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.