Valemount families to benefit from first school-age child care spaces
Child care will soon be closer to home for families in Valemount as the Province invests in 24 new child care spaces to give more parents the option to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.
“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in such a relatively short time. We’ve funded thousands of child care spaces across the province, with some communities getting licensed child care for the first time ever,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister for Children and Family Development. “These 24 new spaces will be the first school-age spaces in Valemount and will help parents breathe a little easier, knowing they still have child care options once their child enters school.”
The Canoe Valley Community Association will renovate the Valemount Lions Hall to include a child care space that will offer a commercial kitchen to provide snacks and a hot lunch program to children at no cost. The kitchen will allow for cooking courses for children at the centre, including making jam, yogurt, soup and other simple snacks. The facility will also provide accessible washrooms and a widened sidewalk for wheelchair accessibility.
“The creation of these new child care spaces in the community will allow more parents the opportunity to accept jobs that they previously were unable to accept because they could not find consistent child care,” said Hope Norum, manager, Canoe Valley Community Association. “The community currently has one licensed multi-aged care program with a waiting list. Spaces for school aged children are extremely limited in the community and desperately needed.”
The spaces 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 region save more than $3.5 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.
- The municipality of Valemount received $5,060 to undertake a needs assessment and create a child care action plan for the community to determine the child care needs of local families over the next 10 years. Funding comes from the Community Child Care Planning Program, a $3-million partnership between the Province and UBCM.
- The Province has made significant investments to improve supports for B.C.’s early care and learning professionals. To date, more than 10,000 early childhood educators have received a $1-per-hour wage enhancement, with another $1-per-hour lift to come in April 2020.
- The Province has provided more than $57,000 to early childhood educators in Valemount and surrounding areas through the wage enhancement.
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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