More parents in the Vancouver, North Vancouver and Sea to Sky region will be able to pursue work, school and other opportunities while knowing their children are cared for as the Province invests in more than 317 new licensed child care spaces.
“For too long, families have based life decisions on their ability to access child care,” says Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings. “When we invest in quality, affordable child care, we’re filling gaps of the past, and giving parents the opportunity to pursue their professional goals while knowing their children are in a safe, nurturing environment.”
The Province is supporting 10 child care providers to create 317 new licensed child care spaces in the Vancouver Coastal areas of:
- District of North Vancouver
- West Vancouver
In addition to these child care spaces, 6,849 new spaces have been funded in the Vancouver Coastal region since the launch of ChildCareBC in July 2018.
The YMCA is one of the child care providers receiving funding to support the creation of 37 new child care spaces at a new child care centre they are developing at Park Royal in West Vancouver.
“The BC New Spaces Fund has enabled the YMCA to grow our child care programs and fulfil our mission of helping children and families thrive,” said Kim Adamson, general manager, Child Care Development, YMCA of Greater Vancouver. “Through our partnership with the Province, the YMCA is excited to work alongside the District of West Vancouver to open this new child care facility. We applaud the government’s ongoing commitment to creating affordable, accessible and quality child care for children and families who need it.”
Since 2018, the Province has invested $2.7 billion in ChildCareBC, including funding more than 26,000 new licensed child care spaces through the New Spaces Fund and other space-creation programs.
“For years, parents were abandoned to a patchwork system and child care that was only becoming more expensive and more difficult to find. As we enter the fifth year of our 10-year ChildCareBC plan, we are making progress to reverse the damage,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “We’ve been working to turn the corner by building new spaces, lowering fees and training the skilled professionals needed to offer quality child care as a core service available to every family that wants it at a price they can afford.”
New spaces require new early childhood educators (ECEs). A recruitment and retention strategy was included as part of B.C.’s 10-year ChildCareBC plan, launched in 2018. Progress since then includes:
- providing more than 10,000 bursaries to support nearly 6,000 ECE students;
- creating 1,150 new ECE student spaces at post-secondary schools, which more than doubles the number of seats since 2018; and
- enhancing ECE compensation by $4 per hour.
Budget 2022 builds on this through a $3.9-million investment over the next three years to add another 390 new ECE seats at public post-secondary institutions in B.C.
As a result of ChildCareBC investments, parents in Vancouver and Pemberton/Skatin/Squamish have saved $83 million and $8 million respectively.
- In 2022-23, Budget 2022 is providing an additional $30 million for the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund to further expand the number of licensed child care spaces with a focus on spaces for school-aged children.
- More than 30,000 children receive support through the Affordable Child Care Benefit every month. Parents making less than $45,000 can receive 100% funding and those making as much as $111,000 can receive partial funding.
- So far in 2021-22, fee reductions have been approved for more than 68,800 child care spaces at more than 3,600 child care facilities in B.C. through the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
- Through the Canada-British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, the Government of Canada has provided a one-time $49.2-million investment that will reduce barriers and increase access to post-secondary ECE programs and professional learning to support ECE graduates to transition to the workforce.
For more about ChildCareBC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
For more about the New Spaces Fund, visit: https://www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund
Two backgrounders follow.