Families in Tsay Keh Dene will have access to 28 new licensed child care spaces as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to increase child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“Parents throughout the province, and especially in the rural areas, have been struggling to find quality affordable child care for too long. We are making investments that are good for families and communities,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “I am proud that this investment will help ensure future generations of Tsay Keh Dene children can remain connected to their traditions and can learn from Elders in their community.”
Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund is supporting the Tsay Keh Dene Band to create seven spaces for children aged three to kindergarten, 14 spaces for school-aged children and seven multi-age spaces at a new modular facility expected to open in fall 2020.
“We are very excited for this space,” said Deeanna Izony, director of health and wellness, Tsay Keh Dene Nation. “It will be a place where our children can grow, play and learn – creating a stronger foundation for our children in a positive, safe, cultural learning space that promotes growth, participation and well-being.”
The child care facility will include the Aboriginal Infant Development program, which supports children with their social, emotional, physical, cognitive and communication skills. It will also include the Little Eagles (Aboriginal Head Start on Reserve) program, which teaches school readiness, language, social skills and nutrition. In addition, the facility will host culturally significant early years events, including the Baby Blessing Ceremony, Elders story time and cultural teachings.
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.
“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.”
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 that more than 20,900 new licensed spaces have been funded since July 2017.
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 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
For more information on child care in Tsay Keh Dene, visit the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society: https://www.acc-society.bc.ca/services/aboriginal-child-care-resource-and-referral-program/
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.