British Columbia has surpassed 30,500 new child care spaces funded since the launch of ChildCareBC in 2018, giving parents greater ability to pursue work, school and other opportunities while knowing their children are cared for.
After weeks of celebrating new spaces in regions throughout B.C., two child care providers in the Langley region have received New Spaces Funding to create 146 new licensed child care spaces for families, helping reach a milestone for new licensed child care spaces funded since July 2018.
“Funding more than 30,500 new licensed child care spaces is a true cause for celebration and is made possible by the providers and organizations that have stepped up to apply for New Spaces funding,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Funding more spaces is good for families, for communities and for the economy because it means more parents will be able to pursue their careers, return to school and be active in their communities, all while knowing their children are well cared for. We are making sure child care is no longer a luxury but a core service for all.”
Provincial funding of $84 million and more than $35 million in federal funding from the Canada-British Columbia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement are supporting 77 child care sites around B.C. to create 3,587 new licensed child care spaces in the latest round of the New Spaces Fund program.
“High-quality, affordable and inclusive child care is becoming a reality in British Columbia,” said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Member of Parliament for Delta. “This is a game changer for so many parents, especially mothers who won’t have to choose between raising a family and having a career. I’m so excited to see what a difference this is going to make for children, families, for workers – for entire communities – across our province.”
Since the launch of ChildCareBC, the Province has invested $2.7 billion in ChildCareBC, and the government of Canada invested more than $662 million in early learning and child care in British Columbia since 2017.
“My daughter has been enrolled in Cookie Monster Preschool for the past two years, and going to school has provided her with invaluable socialization opportunities with children her age,” said parent Heather Gillard. “It has also helped build her confidence and provided her with comfort through predictable daily routines and caring, supportive teachers. I know it is the right choice for her when I see her wake up excited to learn and play with her friends!”
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.
B.C. 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 B.C. have saved $960 million.
- In 2022-23, B.C. 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 30,500 children receive support through the Province’s 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 69,000 child care spaces at more than 3,600 child care facilities in B.C. through the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (CCFRI).
- Participating in CCFRI is a requirement of New Spaces Funding and it means parents of children age five and under will see savings of up to $350 per month per child, depending on their age.
- To support the goal of ensuring access to quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care, the Government of Canada will contribute $3.2 billion for child care in British Columbia over five years through the 2021-22 to 2025-26 Canada-British Columbia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
- This is in addition to more than $323 million provided through the 2021-2022 to 2024-2025 Canada–British Columbia ELCC Agreement, which included $49.2 million through a one-time investment in 2021-22 to support the early childhood educator workforce.
- By March 2026, B.C. families will benefit from the funding of approximately 60,000 new licensed spaces for all ages of child care since the launch of ChildCareBC through provincial and federal support; this will rise to approximately 70,000 by March 2028.
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
Details on the latest New Spaces Fund projects throughout B.C.: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/New_Spaces_Fund_Backgrounder.pdf
For more about Toward $10-a-Day: Early Learning and Child Care: https://www.canada.ca/en/early-learning-child-care-agreement/agreements-provinces-territories/british-columbia-canada-wide-2021.html
Two backgrounders follow.