The Province has announced more than five hundred newly approved child care spaces in BC, including 464 in Nanaimo, Ladysmith, and Gabriola Island.
In March, the provincial government announced a child care milestone of more than 13,000 child care spaces and more than 31-hundred are being funded through the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund.
Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen said many of these spaces are offered at schools making for an easier transition from daycare to grade-school.
“So parents can drop off their older kids at the school and drop off their younger kids and the child care centres, or having before and after school care to make sure they don’t have to rush to pick up and drop off their kids due to their work hours,” said Chen. “That just really brings peace of mind to our parents and it also supports our young children to make sure that they are familiar with the school environment and community so that they can have a better transition.”
Chen said these new spaces will help parents and families and is a continuation of a historic creation of these spaces throughout the province.
“We have been funding an average of 700 spaces per month and that is the fastest space creation in BC’s history, thanks to all the partnerships we have,” said Chen.
The Province recently amended the School Act will make it easier for school boards to create and operate before-and after-school care. The changes also require school boards to make child care spaces a priority if spaces aren’t being used for K-12 students for child care and encourage school boards to adopt an inclusive child care policy.
“For too long, families throughout B.C. have struggled to find quality, affordable child care close to home,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “We’re making it easier for child care to be delivered on school properties because children benefit when they spend more time in spaces that are already designed for enrichment and play, and families save time and money with one central drop-off location in their neighbourhoods.”
“High-quality child care that is accessible for families throughout the province is an absolutely essential aspect of our COVID-19 economic recovery, and I am pleased to see more spaces being announced at this time. We will continue to work collaboratively to further improve child care and support B.C. families,” said Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau.
Here’s a look at where some of these child care spaces are being added:
- Discover Montessori Society is creating 116 spaces at a new Montessori Farm School
- The Nanaimo Innovation Academy Foundation is creating 14 spaces at their existing location
- School District 68 (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) is creating spaces at nine elementary schools in Nanaimo, including:
- Bayview Child Care Centre – 17 spaces
- Cedar Elementary Child Care Centre – 20 spaces
- Chase River Early Learning Centre – 72 spaces
- Fairview Child Care Centre – 23 spaces
- Forest Park Early Learning Centre – 76 spaces
- Georgia Avenue Child Care Centre – 18 spaces
- Quarterway Child Care Centre – 18 spaces
- Qwam Qwum Stuwiwulh Early Learning Centre – 38 spaces
- Rock City Early Learning Centre – 52 spaces
- School District 68 (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) is creating 72 spaces at the Ladysmith Primary Early Learning and Child Care Centre
- The HOPE Centre is expanding its existing facility to add eight spaces