As parents return to work, the Province is making affordable, quality child care more accessible for families in North Vancouver by investing in 16 new spaces, scheduled to open in September 2020.
“Having access to culturally sensitive child care can help keep children connected to their community, history and traditions throughout their life,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “These new licensed spaces will provide quality care that parents can rely on and an inclusive curriculum where children can grow and learn while immersed in their Indigenous culture.”
With support from the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, the Squamish Nation is creating 16 new licensed child care spaces for children aged three to five years at a new facility on the Capilano Reserve. These spaces are in addition to 40 spaces, including eight infant/toddler spaces, 16 preschool spaces and 16 spaces for school-age children, that the Nation previously created with the help of provincial funding.
“These new spaces are good for families, the community and the local economy,” said Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale. “More parents will have the option to return to work or school, knowing their kids are being nurtured in setting that embraces their culture and local Indigenous knowledge.”
The centre follows a community-based approach, allowing children to learn from and develop connections with Elders and members of the local community through storytelling, oral teachings, language, drumming and singing. The programs will align Indigenous knowledge with how children learn and develop during their early years, focusing on nurturing connections to the land and environment through outdoor cultural practices.
“We are looking forward to the new daycare opening in North Vancouver this fall, which is in direct response to our community’s need for supportive and accessible child care,” said Kristen Rivers, co-chair, Squamish Nation Council. “We will be offering community-based child care, with our approach, philosophy and practices developed through a Squamish Nation lens. The community has many gifts to share with the children and we look forward to helping them build those connections.”
These new spaces in North Vancouver are part of the fastest provincewide creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history. They were included in March 2020’s milestone announcement of 13,000 new spaces the Province has funded since July 2018.
An additional 4,100 spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, takes the total to more than 17,000 new licensed spaces since July 2017.
Since launching in February 2018, the Childcare BC plan has helped parents save almost $500 million through the Affordable Child Care Benefit (ACCB) and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (CCFRI). Over 69,500 children have been approved for ACCB benefit plans since the start of the program. Currently, over 61,000 licensed child care spaces are approved to receive CCFRI funding.
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.
- As the Province moves towards its “new normal” under COVID-19, child care projects may see unexpected delays.
- Once operational, child care providers will be required to follow guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control to keep staff and the families they serve safe and to limit the risk of transmission.
- To date, the Province has invested more than $19 million to provide nearly 12,000 early childhood educators with a $1-per-hour wage enhancement, which increased to $2 per hour in April 2020, to better recognize the important work they do.
More information on health and safety standards for child care, plus the latest COVID-19 related child care information, is available at: www.gov.bc.ca/ChildCareCovid-19Response
For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
To learn more about the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund
To find child care in your community, view the online child care map: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/
For more information on the Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcareprototypesites
For more information on child can the Squamish Nation, visit: https://www.sscs.ca/child-care/child-care-resource-and-referral/