More parents on southern Vancouver Island will have the option to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities as the Province invests in more than 320 new licensed child care spaces, 224 of which are expected to open by the end of the year.
“Opening hundreds of new, affordable child care spaces, in addition to the thousands of spaces our government has already supported on the south Island, means more parents can focus on providing for their families while knowing their child is getting a great start in their early learning years,” said Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake.
The Province is supporting seven projects to create 328 new licensed child care spaces in Victoria, Duncan and Cowichan Bay. In addition, 33 projects have also received funding in Victoria and Duncan since the launch of Childcare BC in July 2018. The includes the Saanich School District, which opened Caboose Club, Lochside After School Program Society and Percy’s Clubhouse.
“The board of education is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the Province and our valued child care operators to better support students and families by expanding the number of accessible child care spaces,” said Tim Dunford, chair, Saanich Board of Education. “We understand how important accessibility to child care is for families, and the addition of 100 more spaces was needed in our community.”
The Saanich School District opened 100 new, licensed child care spaces across three schools in January 2021.
“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 an inclusive, universal 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.”
New child care spaces are on the way for families in the following communities:
- Victoria (267)
- Duncan (37)
- Cowichan Bay (24)
“The demand for child care in our community is extremely high, so we are thrilled to be adding two child care programs. As early childhood educators, we witness first-hand how profoundly and positively early learning and care programs shape children’s and families’ lives,” said Kim Ainsworth, director, University of Victoria Child Care Services. “In our programs, children and educators co-create lively, inclusive spaces, embracing our collective responsibilities in fostering ethical relations with others. With this funding, we look forward to welcoming more children and families into our centres, as we strive to create more liveable worlds while facing 21st-century challenges.”
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 1,814 in Victoria and 291 in Duncan.
- 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 Victoria and the Cowichan Valley have saved more than $20.8 million and $10 million.
- Early childhood educators in Victoria and the Cowichan Valley have received over $2 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.