Over 2,600 essential service workers matched with child care spaces through province

Over 2,600 essential service workers matched with child care spaces through province
Lexies Little Bears
More than 2,600 essential service workers have been referred to open child care spaces amid COVID-19, according to the BC Government.

More than 2,600 essential service workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic have been referred to open child care spaces, according to the BC Government.

The referrals have come through British Columbia’s child care matching process launched at the end of March.

The Province said they have been connecting service workers with licensed child care spaces in their communities and have already assisted around 2,650 parents of children up to the age of five.

According to the BC Government, spaces are prioritized for children whose parents work in public health and health services, social services and law enforcement, first responders and emergency response sectors. This is following the expert advice of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, offering priority to front line workers so they can continue to provide the essential services people rely on in their daily lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, the Ministry of Education has been “working closely with school districts and independent schools to ensure these students have access to in-school supports during regular school hours and access to care before and after school hours,” reads a press release from the Province.

The government said it has invested $38 million as part of the initiative to allow essential service workers to have access to reliable licensed child care and to ensure centres are able to reopen or stay open.

In their press release issued Thursday morning, the Province also points out that 2,530 child care centres offering up to 58,650 spaces around B.C. are receiving funding through the Temporary Emergency Funding Program to remain open.

The release said the program provides eligible child care providers with “funding at a rate of seven times their average monthly child care operating base funding.”

Centres receiving funding are still eligible for the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative and the Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Wage Enhancement.

“The fee reduction helps parents by providing funding for licensed child care providers to reduce and stabilize their monthly child care fees. The wage enhancement has provided nearly 12,000 ECEs with a $1-per-hour wage enhancement, which increased to $2 per hour on April 1, 2020, to better recognize the work they do,” added the BC Government.

Families accessing care from these providers may be eligible for the Affordable Child Care Benefit as well.

For non-essential workers, the BC Government is asking parents to continue to care for their children at home, if they are capable. The government also said any children and staff who are ill with a fever, or have a cold, influenza or infectious respiratory symptoms of any kind, must stay home.




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