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Better access to affordable, quality child care for Port Alberni families

Better access to affordable, quality child care for Port Alberni families

January 17, 2020 at 11:50 am  BC, News, Politics

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

“While at work or school, it’s important parents feel confident that their children are being well cared for in a nurturing, quality learning environment,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “These new inclusive and innovative spaces in Port Alberni will help children thrive during crucial development years and mean peace of mind for their parents.”

Through Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund, Rosewater Playschool is creating seven new spaces for children up to the age of 12. The centre prioritizes a media-free, outdoor focused, eco-friendly environment, with two nearby parks helping children to connect with nature and learn about the world around them. A large playroom space also allows children to develop through exploration and play. The facility is wheelchair accessible, including the bathroom, and also supports low-income, Indigenous and new-to-Canada families with their child care needs.

“Every child care space counts, especially in smaller communities,” said Scott Fraser, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim and Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “These spaces will give parents more peace of mind and a place where children can reach developmental milestones and set a strong foundation for their futures.”

Fourteen new, affordable licensed child care spaces in Port Alberni 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 the Port Alberni area save more than $2.5 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 November 2018, Baby Steps in Port Alberni was selected to deliver low-cost child care as a Childcare BC Universal Prototype Site, offering 20 infant/toddler spaces at no more than $200 a month per child.
  • The City of Port Alberni, in partnership with the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and Tofino, received a $74,635 grant through the UBCM Community Child Care Planning Program to undertake a needs assessment and create a child care action plan to support local families over the next 10 years.
  • 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 $85,000 that has supported early childhood educators in Port Alberni.

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

For more information about child care in Port Alberni, visit the Vancouver Island Child Care Resource and Referral Centre: http://vancouverislandccrr.ca/index-4.html

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