More parents in Surrey will be able to pursue work, school and other opportunities while knowing their children are cared for as the Province invests in more than 530 new licensed child care spaces.
“For far too long, child care expenses have been a burden on families with young children,” said Jinny Sims, MLA for Surrey-Panorama. “Our government has made it an ongoing priority to create new, safe and affordable child care spaces throughout Surrey.”
The Province is supporting six child care providers to create 531 new licensed child care spaces in Surrey.
In addition to these child care locations, 1,999 new spaces have been funded in Surrey since the launch of ChildCareBC in July 2018.
“With more and more young families moving to Surrey, access to quality child care is essential,” said Doug McCallum, mayor, City of Surrey. “The $5.5 million in funding from the Province will create more than 170 new spaces at City of Surrey facilities. As a result, this partnership means families will have more child care options within their communities. On behalf of council, I thank the Province for their continued support in funding such an important program that is making a difference in helping Surrey families in need of quality care for their children.”
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 in B.C. were left with a patchwork system where child care was treated as a luxury. As we enter the fifth year of our 10-year ChildCareBC plan, we are making significant progress to reverse this,” 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 Surrey have saved $114 million.
- 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.
- In 2021-22, fee reductions were 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.