More parents on Vancouver Island will be able to pursue their work or education goals, thanks to 41 licensed child care spaces that have opened during the past five months.
An additional 68 child care spaces are expected to open by summer.
“Affordable, inclusive, child care is a vital service for working parents and their kids,” said Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “Parents deserve to know their children are well taken care of and that’s why we have worked hard to open more child care spaces, including here in Parksville at Craig Street Commons.”
These new child care spaces were funded through the Province’s Child Care Rapid Renovation Fund, which provided more than $6 million to create spaces at non-profits, schools and other public-sector facilities.
“The past 20 months have made it very clear that child care is more important than ever,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “On top of the uncertainty of the pandemic, parents had to juggle the stress of working from home, while also caring for their kids or needing to make new child care arrangements. Our Child Care Rapid Renovation Fund is one way we’re quickly addressing the need for more affordable, quality child care spaces, while also funding long-term child care projects that will benefit families and communities for generations to come.”
The Province funded a total of 109 new licensed child care spaces for families in Port Alberni, Nanaimo, Parksville, Cowichan Bay and Victoria:
- Craig Street Commons in Parksville opened 12 spaces in the summer.
- The Learning Lab in Port Alberni opened five spaces in September.
- Bench Elementary Before and After School Care in Cowichan Bay opened 24 spaces in September.
- The Island Métis Childcare Centre in Victoria will open 52 spaces in 2022.
- The Nanaimo Innovation Academy will open 16 spaces in 2022.
“Families are so happy to know their child is in one place for the day with the same adults,” said Gillian Wilson, associate superintendent of schools, Qualicum school district. “Opening spaces for child care in schools has taken pressure off parents – one of our principals commented on the positive impact on students who do not have all the transitions in their day. We needed more quality child cares in our community.”
The Child Care Rapid Renovation Fund supported the creation of 902 new licensed child care spaces in 20 communities throughout B.C. The Craig Street Commons project in Parksville received $60,000 to create 12 new before- and after-school child care spaces. The funding was also used to renovate a wing of the school to add washrooms and modify the floor space.
“Our government is committed to supporting lifelong learning and healthy families through child care programs and in schools throughout B.C.,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “The Child Care Rapid Renovation Fund gives parents more child care options within their communities and builds on our ongoing work to ensure new child care spaces are available, accessible and affordable for all B.C. families.”
The Province is committed to bringing affordable, quality, inclusive child care to families throughout B.C. Since 2018, tens of thousands of families have benefited from better access to more affordable child care, with some parents saving up to $1,600 a month.
- Across Vancouver Island, approximately 5,600 new licensed child care spaces have been funded for families in the past three years.
- Since 2018, more than 26,700 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in B.C., including 10,200 in Metro Vancouver, 4,600 in the Lower Mainland, 4,400 in the Interior, 1,900 in the North.
- The Childcare BC plan has helped parents save up to $1,600 a month, per child, for a total of more than $750 million through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
- As a result of these investments, parents on Vancouver Island have saved approximately $133 million.
- To date, early childhood educators in Vancouver Island have received more than $8.8 million in wage enhancements.
For more information about the Rapid Renovation Fund, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/caring-for-young-children/investment-in-child-care/rapid-renovation-fund
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