Northern B.C. families benefit from more licensed child care spaces

November 10, 2021 at 1:42 pm  BC, News, Politics

More parents in northern B.C. are able to pursue work or education opportunities with the knowledge their kids are getting a great start in life, thanks to the 154 licensed child care spaces that have opened during the past months.

“As a working parent, I know how important it is for families to have access to child care,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “The new spaces here in Prince Rupert have helped to support more parents and enabled them to head back to work or pursue their education goals.”

The new spaces were funded through the Province’s Child Care Rapid Renovation Fund, which provided approximately $11 million to non-profit groups, schools and other public-sector organizations to quickly create new child care spaces.

“The past 20 months have made it very clear that child care is more important than ever,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “On top of the uncertainty of the pandemic, parents had to juggle the stress of working from home while also caring for their kids or needing to make new child care arrangements. Our Child Care Rapid Renovation Fund is one way we’re quickly addressing the need for more affordable, quality child care spaces, while also funding long-term child care projects that will benefit families and communities for generations to come.”

The Province funded 154 new licensed child care spaces in partnership with school districts for families in Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, Prince Rupert and Prince George.  

  • YMCA École Frank Ross School Age Child Care in Dawson Creek opened 24 spaces in September 2021.
  • Hillside Clubhouse in Fort Nelson opened 56 spaces in October 2021.
  • Sunnyside Child Care Centre in Prince Rupert opened 45 spaces in September 2021.
  • Nukko Lake Childcare in Prince George opened 10 spaces in September 2021.
  • Malaspina Childcare in Prince George opened nine spaces in September 2021.
  • Quinson Childcare in Prince George opened 10 spaces in September 2021.

“There is a huge need for child care in our community,” said Katie Wahl, executive director, Sunnyside Child Care Centre. “With the Child Card Rapid Renovation funding we were able to quickly create 45 after-school spaces to support families in our community needing care.”

The Child Care Rapid Renovation Fund supported the creation of 912 new licensed child care spaces in 20 communities throughout the province. The Sunnyside Child care centre in Prince Rupert received $225,000 in funding from the Province to create 45 new group child care spaces and renovate and expand the child care facility.

“Our government is committed to supporting lifelong learning and healthy families through child care programs and in schools throughout B.C.,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “The Child Care Rapid Renovation Fund gives parents more child care options within their communities and builds on our ongoing work to ensure new child care spaces are available, accessible and affordable for all B.C. families.”

The Province is committed to bringing affordable, quality, inclusive child care to families throughout B.C. Since 2018, tens of thousands of families have benefited from better access to more affordable child care, with some parents saving as much as $1,600 a month.

Quick Facts:

  • Since 2018, more than 26,000 new licensed child care spaces have been funded for families in B.C.
  • The Childcare BC plan has helped parents save as much as $1,600 a month, per child, for a total of more than $750 million through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.  
  • As a result of these investments, parents in northern B.C. have saved more than $36 million.
  • To date, early childhood educators in northern B.C. have received more than $1.6 million.

Learn More:

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

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

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