Mayne Island families are celebrating the opening of the Family Place, the island’s first standalone child care centre, and a community asset that can accommodate 36 children.
“I am thrilled to celebrate the opening of the Family Place and congratulate the grassroots volunteer committee of working moms who worked with the community to make this fabulous child care centre a reality today,” said Grace Lore, B.C.’s Minister of State for Child Care. “Family Place is an excellent example of how we are partnering with local communities through our ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund to help create child care spaces where they are needed most, as we work to build a future where affordable, accessible, quality, inclusive child care is a core service families can rely on.”
After outgrowing temporary child care locations, a volunteer committee formed the Mayne Island Early Childhood Society and partnered with the local community centre to apply for the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund in 2020. The society received approximately $1.3 million, which allowed it to build a 260-square-metre (2,800 square feet) facility next to the Mayne Island community centre, community garden and the forest, and within walking distance from the school, which has 36 licensed child care spaces.
“When we moved to Mayne Island from Vancouver a few years ago, there were about 900 residents. Now there are about 1,300 people, and young families continue to move here,” said Sandra Henderson, a Mayne Island mother. “My two-year-old has part-time child care in the incredible nature-based program, and after my second maternity leave, the Family Place will allow me to return to work. It is also a community hub for families to connect.”
Together, through the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund, the Province and the Government of Canada are investing approximately $300 million to fund the creation of new licensed child care spaces in high-need areas throughout the province. Applicants can continue to apply to this open intake based on budget availability.
In 2022-23, a new stream was introduced to fund the creation of new, licensed child care centres for school-aged children on school grounds. These centres are available for school districts, First Nations schools, First Nations independent schools and not-for-profit independent schools.
“This cozy centre will lend vibrancy and sustainability to our community, and the parents of 28 kids on our wait list are so grateful they will receive quality reliable child care,“ said Meaghan Feduck, chair, Mayne Island Early Childhood Society, mom of two children (aged four and seven) and faculty instructor at Camosun College. “So many people in our community have been involved in building the Family Place, and the kids are so excited for the opening after watching the construction day after day. Their handprints are even moulded in cement at the entrance.”
Since 2018, the Province has invested $2.7 billion in the 10-year ChildCareBC plan to build affordable, inclusive and quality child care with more than 30,500 new child care spaces funded for creation.
For more information about ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund and how to apply:
For more about ChildCareBC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare