More parents in the Thompson, Cariboo and Shuswap regions will be able to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities as the Province invests in more than 140 new licensed child care spaces.
“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.”
The Province is supporting three projects to create 144 new licensed child care spaces in Kamloops, Barriere and Lillooet:
- Kamloops (112 spaces)
- Barriere (24 spaces)
- Lillooet (eight spaces)
“Yellowhead Community Services is excited to be able to create additional, purpose-built child care spaces in our community,” said Susanne Butcher, chief operating officer, Yellowhead Community Services Society. “We hope that our centre will feel like a home away from home for our children and their families.”
In addition, six other projects have also received funding in the Thompson, Cariboo and Shuswap regions since the launch of Childcare BC in July 2018, including Kamloops Kidz Early Learning Centre (Orchard Walk). The centre opened 144 new licensed child care spaces in January 2019.
“We feel very fortunate to have been the first child care facility in Kamloops to receive funding through the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund,” said Sandra Jodoin of Kamloops Kidz Early Learning Center Inc. “Kamloops Kidz is deeply entrenched in our community, and has been providing quality, inclusive preschool and child care options since 2002.”
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.
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 621 in Kamloops and 84 in Barriere.
- 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 the Kamloops-North Thompson region, Kamloops-South Thompson region and the Fraser-Nicola region have saved more than $10.8 million, $11.3 million and $4.1 million, respectively
- Early childhood educators in the Kamloops-North Thompson region, Kamloops-South Thompson region and the Fraser-Nicola region have received more than $1.47 million in wage enhancements combined.
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.