Hundreds more child care spaces are set to become available to families on central Vancouver Island, according to the B.C. government.
The Province announced on Wednesday that 321 new licensed child care spaces will be opening in the communities of Crofton, Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach, Tofino and Ucluelet.
According to the government, the 321 licensed spaces will be made available through eight different providers across the regions.
“Parents and caregivers deserve to know their kids are in safe hands while they are at work, and with these new spaces, high-quality care will be accessible for many more families,” said Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “We are creating a child care system where care is available for every family who wants it, across Vancouver Island and B.C.”
The Province says that prior to these 321 new spaces, a total of 1,139 licensed child care spots have been made available in Crofton, Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach, Tofino and Ucluelet since the launch of ChildCareBC in July 2018.
“We know that access to affordable child care makes an enormous difference in people’s lives, and we’re seeing that first-hand in our communities as our government has created more spaces and made them more affordable,” said Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim. “We know there’s still more work to do to build a future where child care is a core service that’s available and affordable for any family that wants it. That’s why we will keep working to build more new spaces, and I’m so grateful to our partners who are coming forward to help make this a reality.”
Since 2018, B.C. 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 province-wide.
In addition to the new licensed spaces, the Province says it is also hoping to recruit more early childhood educators (ECEs), investing $3.9-million over the next three years to create hundreds more seats at post-secondary institutions in B.C.