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Better access to affordable, quality child care for Delta families

Better access to affordable, quality child care for Delta families

January 16, 2020 at 10:59 am  BC, News, Politics

Child care is getting less expensive and easier to find in the Delta area as the Province invests in 60 new child care spaces in Ladner and 25 new child care spaces in Tsawwassen to give more parents the option to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.

In Ladner, through Childcare BC’s New Fund, Little Koala Montessori Academy is creating 12 infant/toddler spaces and 48 spaces for children aged 30 months to school age. Children will learn, grow and play in a bright, newly renovated centre with a new outdoor playground right in the heart of Ladner.

“We know that many B.C. families are struggling to find quality, licensed child care, especially in growing urban areas,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “These spaces in Ladner will provide much-needed relief for area families and offer kids the programs they need to succeed in a way that connects with them as young learners.”

The daily curriculum will focus on Montessori activities that encourage growth in all areas of development – cognitive, emotional, social and physical – through exploration and discovery. Programming will also focus on the use of stories, poetry, rhymes, song and dance to help children understand the world around them.

After hours, the academy will regularly host workshops for parents on topics related to early childhood education and parenting so they can work closely with the centre to foster an environment for the children to thrive.

“Our vision is to provide quality child care benefiting the child, the parent, the staff and the community,” said James Teng, director, Little Koala Montessori Academy. “We are very grateful to have received the new space funding from the ministry to set up a new facility so that more parents can have access to quality child care.”

Further south, the Tsawwassen First Nation is creating a new community hub that includes a child care facility for school-age kids. Children will learn about Indigenous culture, language and teachings through an Elder connection program and speaker series called Breaking Bannock. The young learners will also be able to grow fruit and vegetables as part of a new community garden.

“Indigenous families often struggle to find culturally appropriate child care that meets their needs,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “The Tsawwassen First Nation’s new centre will help immerse children in their culture and form strong bonds with their community from an early age.”

The new building, which is inspired by Coast Salish architecture, has a culturally meaningful design created with input from the public. In addition to the child care centre, the building will house several offices for community services, an art room, computer lab, library, kitchen and gymnasium. A new youth centre will be a welcoming place for teens and provide services to at-risk youth and young parents.

Almost 240 new, affordable licensed child care spaces in Delta South have been funded by the Province since the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund launched in July 2018. They are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history, with more than 10,400 funded in the past 15 months.

With the addition of 900 spaces funded through partnerships with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and Aboriginal Head Start using federal funding, and 4,100 spaces created through the 2017 Budget Update, more than 15,400 spaces have been funded in B.C.

Since launching in February 2018, the Childcare BC plan has helped parents in Delta South save more than $2.4 million through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.

Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quick Facts:

  • In June 2018, the B.C. government launched the Start-Up Grant program, which supports individuals and unlicensed child care providers to become licensed. In Delta South, 46 new spaces are being created through start-up grant applications.
  • The Province has made significant investments to improve supports for B.C.’s early care and learning professionals.
  • To date, the Province has invested more than $13 million to provide more than 10,000 early childhood educators with a $1-per-hour wage enhancement, with another $1-perhour lift to come in April 2020. This includes more than $134,000 for early childhood educators in Delta South.
  • The City of Delta recently received a $25,000 grant to help it undertake a needs assessment and create a child care action plan to support local families over the next 10 years. This funding comes from the Community Child Care Planning Program, a $3-million partnership between the Province and UBCM.

Learn More:

For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare

To learn more about the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund and to apply, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund

To find child care in a community, view the online child care map: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/

Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430

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