VICTORIA – More families than ever are benefiting from better access to quality, affordable child care, thanks to the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history.
The Province has exceeded its original three-year goal and has funded nearly 26,000 new licensed child care spaces since the 10-year Childcare BC plan was launched in 2018. Nearly 70% of these spaces are expected to be open for families within the next year.
“For too long, parents have struggled to find child care, and I’m proud that in our first three years, we’ve funded more than double the number of spaces than the previous decade,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “I’m hearing from families that our plan has been life changing, and I look forward to making even more progress towards an inclusive, universal child care system, while we also build the foundation of a strong recovery for everyone.”
In addition to creating more licensed spaces, the Province is making new investments to provide $10-a-day child care for twice as many families and to double the wage enhancement to $4 an hour for more than 11,000 early childhood educators. At the same time, tens of thousands of families are saving up to $1,600 a month per child through the government’s affordability measures.
“Child care isn’t such a burden anymore,” said Sarah Gowatzki, whose three-year old son attends Montecito Child Care Centre in Burnaby. “The Province’s investments in child care have helped us reduce our child care expenses so we can save for the future and helped me feel more comfortable going back to work, because I know my son is being well looked after while I’m away from him.”
With support from the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, Montecito Child Care Centre opened 25 new licensed child care spaces in September 2020.
“It has been our experience that the search for child care is difficult and child care centres have long waitlists,” said Navreen Gill, executive director, Burnaby Family Life, a non-profit organization that operates three child care facilities in Burnaby, including Montecito Child Care Centre. “With the Province’s support, we’re able to better address the child care needs of more local families and build new accessible and inclusive child care spaces in our community.”
With the federal government moving toward a low-cost national child care plan, B.C. is well positioned to build on Childcare BC’s success to date and harness additional funding to deliver the affordable and inclusive universal child care system families need. B.C. representatives are working with their federal counterparts to develop an action plan including the agreed-upon priorities and implementation details.
“Our Childcare BC plan positions us as a national leader for child care, and we will continue to build on this momentum by working closely with the Government of Canada to reach our shared goals for families,” said Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development. “It’s great news that we have not only met but exceeded our target for creating spaces, and by working together, even more families throughout the province will feel the benefits of affordable, quality and inclusive child care.”