Families in Barriere will have access to more than 50 new licensed child care spaces as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to increase child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“Our government is making solid progress on our Childcare BC goal of giving families better access to quality, licensed child care in every part of our province,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “These new spaces in Barriere will provide culturally relevant care for Simpcw First Nation children and open up opportunities for their parents, strengthening both the community and the economy.”
Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund is supporting Simpcw Early Learning and Child Care Centre to build the first full-time, licensed child care facility on the Simpcw First Nation. The new centre is expected to open in fall 2022 and will offer eight infant/toddler spaces, eight spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten, 12 pre-school spaces and 24 school-age spaces.
The facility will be managed by a volunteer group made up of members from the Simpcw First Nation and will incorporate Secwepemc language and cultural revitalization into daily programming.
“The Simpcw are a culturally proud community, valuing healthy, holistic lifestyles based upon respect, responsibility and continuous participation in growth and education,” said Shelly Loring, Chief of Simpcw First Nation. “This support from the Province will allow us to build a centre that is rooted in our community, preserves our language and recognizes that culture is a fundamental part of a child’s development.”
July 2020 marks the second anniversary of the launch of the New Spaces Fund, which has approved an average of 700 new spaces for funding each month. So far, nearly 16,800 new spaces have been funded throughout the province, helping parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.
These new spaces are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history. An additional 4,100 spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, means more than 20,900 new licensed spaces have been funded since July 2017.
“Providing quality, affordable and inclusive child care goes hand in hand with a strong, vibrant economy,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “By funding nearly 16,800 new licensed spaces throughout the province, our government is helping more parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities knowing that when they drop their kids off in the morning, they’ll get the nurturing support they need to grow and thrive.”
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.
- This investment means 68 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in Barriere since July 2018.
- As the Province moves toward its “new normal” under COVID-19, child care capital builds 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.
For information on health and safety standards for child care, visit: 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/
Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430
A backgrounder follows.