The Province is making education accessible by working with Capilano University (CapU) on a new centre for childhood studies that will more than double the available child care spaces on campus.
Slated to open late 2024, the centre will add 74 affordable new child care spaces for a total of 143 on-campus spaces for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Students, employees and community members are all eligible to apply for space for their children at the new centre.
“I am proud that we are investing in people’s futures by providing child care spaces so parents can benefit from educational opportunities,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “The new centre for childhood studies will provide a positive learning environment for children, and support their parents who are advancing their own studies. By doubling the available spaces for child care on campus, we’re decreasing the cost of living and removing barriers to education for British Columbia’s next generation of workers, innovators and leaders.”
To enhance the student learning experience, the centre will also offer 2,135 square metres (23,000 square feet) of new studio space, study and research labs, classrooms and faculty offices. The two-storey sustainably built facility will increase opportunities for practicum placements on campus for students from Capilano University’s school of education and childhood studies.
“Early childhood educators are skilled professionals who are the workforce behind the workforce and it’s critical we support people entering this in-demand career,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “This new centre brings us one step closer to making affordable, quality, inclusive child care a core service families can rely on, by providing more hands-on training for the future early childhood workforce, and more convenient on-campus child care spaces for parents, students and teachers while they study or work.”
The $18.6-million centre for childhood studies project is receiving $9.46 million from the Province, including $6.5 million from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and $2.96 million from the Ministry of Education and Child Care Children. Capilano University is contributing $9.14 million toward the project.
“Today, we celebrate the groundbreaking of this fully integrated centre of research, learning and child care, which exemplifies how CapU is building a distinct university experience that inspires imagination and supports the well-being of our campus community,” said Paul Dangerfield, president, Capilano University. “Quality child care is closely linked to social and economic development and vitally important for many families. The new centre for childhood studies will build on the great work already underway at CapU to continue to meet the growing needs of childhood educators and families in the community.”
This building expansion is part of the Province’s 10-year ChildCareBC Plan, which has funded 30,500 new licensed child care spaces throughout the province since 2018.
To support providers and early child care educators, the B.C. government has enhanced their wages in licensed facilities by $4 an hour, expanded early child care education spaces at public post-secondary institutions, and provided bursaries and better access to training and professional development. Government is also prioritizing immigration pathways by adding early child care educators to the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program to help bring more trained early child care educators into child care centres faster and address the cost of living.
Supports, such as affordable housing, child care and transportation, are crucial to breaking down barriers to training and workforce participation. Government is opening doors to employment opportunities by expanding affordable child care for families, raising the minimum wage and providing better workplace protections.
Funding for the new child care centre is part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready Plan. Future Ready is making education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help businesses grow and prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.
Learn more about the steps B.C. is taking to deliver quality and affordable child care to more families:
Learn more about supports, training and professional development opportunities for child care and early learning professionals: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/ecestrategy
Two backgrounders follow.