More parents in the Northern Interior will be able to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities as the Province invests in nearly 120 new licensed child care spaces, 83 of which are expected to open by the fall.
“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 four projects to create 117.5 new licensed child care spaces in Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson Quesnel and Valemount:
- Dawson Creek (24)
- Fort Nelson (55.5)
- Quesnel (34)
- Valemount (four)
“These spaces will better serve the families in our centre and welcome more families in need within our community. It will allow us to assist in decreasing our waitlist and provide reliable and quality care for parents and caregivers, which allow them to build upon their lives and contribute in their own ways to our village,” said Krista Voth, manager of the Valemount Children's Activity Society. “We have the greatest appreciation for the grant as we feel recognized as an important support and can help expand the growth of Valemount.”
In addition, 10 other projects have received funding in the northern Interior since the launch of Childcare BC in July 2018, including the YMCA Anne Roberts Young Care and Learning Centre, which opened 89 new licensed child care spaces in Fort St. John in September 2020.
“We are excited to have another successful partnership between School District #60 and the YMCA,” said Angela Telford, secretary treasurer, School District #60. “We look forward to future partnerships with the ministry to build capacity for child care in Fort St. John. We have recently opened three before- and after-school care programs in the district and have two more coming in the next school year. Feedback for these spaces has been positive!”
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 74 in Dawson Creek, 62.5 in Fort Nelson, 144 in Quesnel and 100 in Valemount.
- 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 Peace River South, Peace River North, Cariboo North and Prince George-Valemount regions have saved more than $1.7 million, $2.9 million, $3.8 million and $7.1 million, respectively.
- Early childhood educators in the Peace River South, Peace River North, Cariboo North and Prince George-Valemount regions have received more than $630,000 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.