More parents in the Lower Mainland will be able to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities as the Province invests in 340 new licensed child care spaces, about 140 of which are expected to be open by the end of this year.
“Improving child care has been a key commitment of our government since day one,” said Rick Glumac, MLA for Port Moody Coquitlam. “As we recover from the pandemic, we are more focused than ever to get people access to this vital service.”
The Province is supporting five projects to create 340 new licensed child care spaces in Maple Ridge, Port Moody, Pitt Meadows and Coquitlam:
- Maple Ridge (110)
- Port Moody (60)
- Pitt Meadows (115)
- Coquitlam (55)
“Pitt Meadows is proud to be home to many hardworking families, and our city council is committed to making sure that parents and children in our community get the support and care they need,” said Bill Dingwall, mayor, City of Pitt Meadows. “With limited child care spaces affecting families all over the region, we are grateful for the provincial support in helping to fund these essential and much-needed new spaces.”
In addition, nine other projects have received funding in the Tri-Cities since the launch of Childcare BC in July 2018. This includes Westwood Montessori (Partington) in Coquitlam, which opened 96 new licensed child care spaces in September 2020.
“We’re so grateful for this funding that’s helping bring much-needed child care to Coquitlam families,” said Peter Chern of Westwood Montessori. “We’re excited to offer caring, quality child care to this community for years to come.”
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 toward a universal and inclusive child care system, these new spaces will make it easier for parents, especially mothers, to pursue their own goals, while 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 311 in Maple Ridge, 95 in Port Moody, 208 in Pitt Meadows and 319 in Coquitlam.
- 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 Coquitlam, Maple Ridge-Mission, Pitt Meadows and Port Moody have saved almost $23 million, more than $25 million, more than $13 million and $8.5 million, respectively.
- Early childhood educators have received more than:
- $2 million in wage enhancements in Coquitlam;
- $1.98 million in wage enhancements in Maple Ridge- Mission;
- $1.17 million in wage enhancements in Pitt Meadows; and
- $865,000 in wage enhancements in Port Moody.
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.