SURREY - Child-care providers throughout the province are encouraged to apply for a total of $14.8 million in major capital funding to create new licensed child-care spaces for B.C. kids.
Starting today, non-profit child-care providers can apply for up to $500,000, while private child-care organizations can apply for up to $250,000. Funding can be used to:
- Build a new child care facility, including the cost of buying land or a building.
- Assemble a modular building and develop a site.
- Renovate an existing building.
- Buy eligible equipment (including playground equipment) and furnishings to support new child-care spaces in an existing facility.
Preference will be given to applications that will create child-care spaces in underserved areas of B.C., such as Surrey, Abbotsford and Langford, and on school grounds, where children can smoothly transition from early years programs, to the classroom, to after-school care. Construction is expected to begin this fiscal year.
Applications will be accepted during three intake periods:
- May 2 - June 30, 2014
- Sept. 1 - Oct. 31, 2014
- Feb. 1 - March 31, 2015
Under the B.C. Early Years Strategy, the Province aims to support the creation up to 1,000 new child-care spaces between now and March 2015, and will also invest $17.1 million next fiscal year for an additional 1,000 spaces. This will build on the approximately 104,000 spaces that government currently supports throughout B.C.
Since 2001, the Government of B.C. has invested more than $35 million in major capital funding to help community partners create more than 6,500 licensed child-care spaces.
Today’s announcement coincides with the start of Child Care Month in B.C., a time to celebrate the work of thousands of caring and committed child-care operators and early childhood educators across the province. The B.C. government is also recognizing the extraordinary work of child-care providers by proclaiming May 15 as Child Care Provider Appreciation Day.
Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development -
“The goal of the B.C. Early Years Strategy is to make life easier for families by giving them more child-care options. Families have told us that a seamless day of child care and school is very important to them, and one of the best ways to do that is to have more child care available on school grounds.”
“Our goal is to create an additional 2,000 quality, licensed child-care spaces over the next two years, with the long-term goal of opening up to 13,000 new spaces over the next eight years.”
Wayne Robertson, chair, Provincial Child Care Council -
“New licensed child-care spaces are needed in B.C., and capital funding to create them is welcome. Implementation of the B.C. Early Years Strategy is key to ensuring that the children of our province continue to be well cared for by the dedicated early years and childcare sector.”
Tyler Summers, chairperson, School Age Childcare Association of BC -
“It can be a challenge for families to find quality, affordable child care in B.C. Creating these new licensed child care spaces with a focus on school grounds will help lessen the strain on families, and provide safe, nurturing learning environments for children.”
- The B.C. Early Years Strategy is an eight-year government commitment to improve the accessibility, affordability and quality of early-years programs and services for families with young children.
- To make child care more affordable for families, government is introducing the B.C. Early Childhood Tax Benefit starting in 2015. The benefit will provide $146 million annually to approximately 180,000 families with children under the age of six years (up to $660 a year per child).
- The Ministry of Children and Family Development also provides child care subsidies to help low income families afford child care - helping approximately 45,000 children each year.
- The Early Years Strategy builds on the $1 billion per year government spends on early learning and childhood development initiatives, services and supports, including:
- Success by 6®, Children First and Aboriginal early childhood development programs.
- Full-day kindergarten.
- Programs that support healthy pregnancy, birth and infancy.
- Early childhood development care and learning program investments, including public health nursing, Ready, Set, Learn programs and StrongStart BC early learning programs.
- A variety of programs, services and supports to address the specific needs of children and youth with special needs.
- The ministry will invest $292 million on child care in 2014-15, a 38% increase since 2000-01.
For more information on the capital funding program, including applications and criteria, visit: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare/major_capital.htm
To learn more about the current range of early years services in B.C. and the strategy to make programs and services more integrated, accessible, affordable and higher quality, read the B.C. Early Years Strategy:
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Children and Family Development