Tri-Cities families benefit from new child care spaces

April 20, 2022 at 8:32 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

More parents in the Tri-Cities region will be able to pursue work, school and other opportunities while knowing their children are cared for as the Province invests in nearly 330 new licensed child care spaces.

“Increasing access to safe, reliable and quality child care opens up opportunities for families to pursue their goals,” said Rick Glumac, MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam. “We are committed to creating more affordable spaces for child care as part of our plan to build a stronger BC for everyone.”

The Province is supporting six child care providers to create 328 new licensed child care spaces in the Tri-Cities region:

  • Coquitlam
  • Maple Ridge
  • Port Coquitlam
  • Port Moody

In addition to these child care locations, 1,179 new spaces have been funded in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and Maple Ridge since the launch of ChildCareBC in July 2018.

“This is a much-welcomed investment in our community,” said Rob Vagramov, mayor, City of Port Moody. “We have all seen the effects of under-funded child care – whether it’s unbearably long wait times, crowded facilities or simply a lack of available spots. The City of Port Moody is looking forward to putting this funding to good use and supporting a new chapter in the lives of 37 local families.”

Since 2018, the Province has invested $2.7 billion in ChildCareBC, including funding more than 26,000 new licensed child care spaces through the New Spaces Fund and other space-creation programs.

“For years, parents in B.C. were left with a patchwork system where child care was treated as a luxury. As we enter the fifth year of our 10-year ChildCareBC plan, we are making significant progress to reverse this,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “We’ve been working to turn the corner by building new spaces, lowering fees and training the skilled professionals needed to offer quality child care as a core service available to every family that wants it at a price they can afford.”

New spaces require new early childhood educators (ECEs). A recruitment and retention strategy was included as part of B.C.’s 10-year ChildCareBC plan, launched in 2018. Progress since then includes:

  • providing more than 10,000 bursaries to support nearly 6,000 ECE students;
  • creating 1,150 new ECE student spaces at post-secondary schools, which more than doubles the number of seats since 2018; and
  • enhancing ECE compensation by $4 per hour.

Budget 2022 builds on this through a $3.9-million investment over the next three years to add another 390 new ECE seats at public post-secondary institutions in B.C.

As a result of ChildCareBC investments, parents in Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody have saved $30 million, $34 million, $16 million and $11 million, respectively. 

Quote:

Mike Farnworth, MLA, Port Coquitlam –

“More things become possible for families when they have access to affordable and quality child care close to home. These new spaces will support parents and benefit employers in the Tri-Cities while providing more children with safe, inclusive and nurturing environments to learn, grow and play.”

Quick Facts:

  • In 2022-23, Budget 2022 is providing an additional $30 million for the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund to further expand the number of licensed child care spaces with a focus on spaces for school-aged children.
  • More than 30,000 children receive support through the Affordable Child Care Benefit every month. Parents making less than $45,000 can receive 100% funding and those making as much as $111,000 can receive partial funding.
  • In 2021-22, fee reductions were approved for more than 68,800 child care spaces at more than 3,600 child care facilities in B.C. through the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
  • Through the Canada-British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, the Government of Canada has provided a one-time $49.2-million investment that will reduce barriers and increase access to post-secondary ECE programs and professional learning to support ECE graduates to transition to the workforce.

Learn More:

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

For more about the New Spaces Fund, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/caring-for-young-children/running-daycare-preschool/childcare-new-spaces-fund

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