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Northwest parents to benefit from new child care spaces

Northwest parents to benefit from new child care spaces

March 1, 2021 at 10:36 am  BC, News, Politics

Families living in the northwest of B.C. will have access to 70 new licensed child care spaces as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to increasing child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 

“Having access to high-quality child care that is close to home is a game changer for families,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “For people in our north coast communities, not being able to get their kids into child care can be a barrier to being able to take advantage of employment and other opportunities. Creating new spaces like these ones is a vital investment in creating strong communities overall.”

The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund is supporting two projects to create 70 new licensed child care spaces in Haida Gwaii and Lax Kw’alaams. These spaces are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history and were part of the September 2020 milestone that marked more than 20,000 new spaces funded throughout the province in just over two years.

“These new child care spaces for families in Haida Gwaii and Lax Kw’alaams are bringing us one step closer to delivering the quality, affordable and inclusive child care that all B.C. families deserve,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Child care for families is key to B.C.’s economic recovery, and these new spaces will make it easier for parents, especially mothers who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, to pursue their own goals by returning to work or school.”

Families will be able to access new child care spaces in the following communities: 

  • Haida Gwaii (eight spaces)
  • Lax Kw’alaams (62 spaces)

“Until we opened, there was no full-time child care in our community of Daajing Giids,” said Alicia Embree, owner/operator, DANU Child Care in Haida Gwaii. “This funding supported the building of a secured, covered outdoor play area and will also be used for a dedicated nap area and art studio for the children. These will help us to continue to increase our numbers in order to serve more families and provide high quality experiences rich in nature and art focused play.”

An additional 4,110 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 24,500 new licensed spaces funded in B.C. since July 2017.

Quick Facts:

  • Since July 2018, more than 20,000 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in British Columbia, including 512 in northwest B.C.
  • Throughout the province, the Childcare BC plan has helped parents save up to $1,600 a month per child through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
  • As a result of these investments, parents in the Haida Gwaii/Prince Rupert region have saved more than $2.5 million.
  • Early childhood educators in the Haida Gwaii/Prince Rupert region have received more than $120,000 in wage enhancements.
  • Through B.C.’s combined affordability initiatives, more than 36,000 children have received child care for $10/day or less since the beginning of the Childcare BC plan.

Learn More:

For information on health and safety standards for child care during COVID-19, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/ChildCareCovid-19Response  

Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430

To learn more about the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund

For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare

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