The Province of B.C. has announced that more than 500 new child care spaces are being made available to families on the northern and central parts areas of Vancouver Island.
The push to open up more spaces comes as parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In total, 190 licensed child care spaces will be opening on northern Vancouver Island and 380 licensed spaces will open in central Vancouver Island, 98 of which are expected to open by the end of the year.
“By increasing child care spaces here on central Vancouver Island, we are ensuring that more families can receive high-quality and inclusive child care that supports their child’s healthy development,” said Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “As we have seen throughout COVID-19, affordable child care is an important part of our province’s economy and this latest investment will help us recover from the pandemic stronger.”
Below is a breakdown of licensed spaces opening in each community:
- Courtenay (75 spaces)
- Campbell River (30 spaces)
- Cumberland (85 spaces)
- Lantzville (137 spaces)
- Port Alberni (176 spaces)
- Parksville (70 spaces)
“As we enter the fourth year of our 10-year Childcare BC plan, thousands of families are already feeling the life-changing impact of having affordable, quality and inclusive child care,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “As we continue to build toward an inclusive, universal child care system, these new spaces will make it easier for parents, especially mothers, to pursue their own goals, while also being part of B.C.’s economic recovery.”
In total the Province says it has funded almost 26,000 new licensed spaces since the launch of Childcare BC – more than 6,000 of which are now open.
An additional 4,370 spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, take the total number of new child care spaces funded since July 2017 to more than 29,300.
According to the B.C. government, the Childcare BC plan has helped parents save up to $1,600 a month per child.