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Minister’s statement on Child Care Provider Appreciation Day

May 10, 2024 at 8:17 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Mitzi Dean, Minister of State for Child Care, has released the following statement for Child Care Provider Appreciation Day in B.C.:

“Child care professionals are at the heart of child care in B.C. Today, I invite all British Columbians to join me in celebrating and honouring all of B.C.’s child care professionals for their dedication, hard work and compassion in providing care and early learning opportunities for our children during such a critical time in their lives.

“The contributions of child care professionals lift up families, communities, and local and provincial economies. Children benefit from the expertise of child care professionals who help guide them to explore, discover and learn about their world. And when families’ child care needs are met, they are able to participate and contribute to their communities.

“B.C.’s child care professionals make child care and the valuable social and economic benefits possible. Access to affordable child care is one of the reasons B.C. has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada. It is also a critical component of women’s participation in the workforce, and last year, more than 36,000 women were able to join the workforce. This is proof that our ChildCareBC plan is contributing to a stronger economy that benefits everyone.

“In recognition of the important role that child care professionals play in our society, we have invested in bursaries, new post-secondary early childhood educator (ECE) spaces, grants for specialized education and a wage increase of up to $6 per hour over the past six years. And we are currently testing a wage grid for ECEs at select child care centres to inform how we can expand it to the larger child care sector.

“We’re working with school districts throughout B.C. through the dual credit program to offer students in grades 11 and 12 the opportunity to begin their ECE post-secondary training with college-level instruction, while earning credits toward high school graduation.

“We’re also streamlining immigration pathways for international ECEs through the Provincial Nominee Program.

“There is more work to do to ensure child care professionals receive the compensation and recognition they deserve and we’re committed to continuing this work. 

“To all B.C.’s child care professionals: We see you and we are grateful for your work, not only today on Child Care Provider Appreciation Day, but every day. We deeply value the positive impact you have on the early development of children and the support you offer for families in your communities.

“From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you!”

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