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Better access to affordable, quality child care for Invermere families

Better access to affordable, quality child care for Invermere families

January 17, 2020 at 2:13 pm  BC, News, Politics

Child care is getting less expensive and easier to find in Invermere as the Province invests in more than 70 new child care spaces to give more parents the option to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.

“Accessible, affordable child care is not only good for families, it is also key to creating a vibrant local economy,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “We know parents throughout the province, and especially in rural areas, have been struggling to find quality affordable child care for too long. By bringing child care closer to home, we are not only giving parents more choices, we are making Invermere a more attractive place to live, work and raise a family.”

Through a partnership between Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund and the Columbia Basin Trust, Dragonfly Discovery Centre is creating 72 new spaces — 12 infant/toddler spaces, 16 spaces for 30 months to school age, 20 preschool spaces and 24 school-age spaces.

The funding supports renovation of a character building and means the centre can offer more spaces, as well as additional programming, such as a cooking class for the kids. 

“The provincial funding has helped meet a critical need for more licensed child care spaces for all ages in the Columbia Valley,” said Charlotte Streicek, owner, Dragonfly Discovery Centre. “It’s also creating a learning environment that builds respect and understanding for the self, each other and the environment as the life system that supports us all.”

Almost 90 new, affordable licensed child care spaces in Invermere 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 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 Invermere save more than $546,000 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:

  • 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-per-hour lift to come in April 2020. This includes more than $20,400 to early childhood educators in Invermere through the wage enhancement.

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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