The Province of British Columbia has announced that 340 new licensed child care spaces are being made available for families on Vancouver Island.
The new spaces will be created in the communities of Greater Victoria, North Saanich, Sooke, and Tahsis.
The government says it will be supporting nine different projects in these communities through the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund.
“These spaces are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history and were part of the September 2020 milestone that marked more than 20,000 new spaces funded throughout the province in just over two years,” reads a statement from the government.
In Greater Victoria, there will be 210 new spaces created, 56 in North Saanich, 62 in Sooke and eight in Tahsis.
“Government has been working hard, in collaboration with communities of all sizes, to make sure people can get access to child care-no matter whether they live in Tahsis or Greater Victoria,” said Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island. “These investments in new spaces will help give kids a great start in life and level the playing field for young families all around the Island.”
The Province says that an additional 4,110 spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, brings the total number of new, licensed spaces in B.C. to over 24,500 since July 2017.
“These new child care spaces for families on Vancouver Island are bringing us one step closer to delivering the quality, affordable and inclusive child care that all B.C. families deserve,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Child care for families is key to B.C.’s economic recovery, and these new spaces will make it easier for parents, especially mothers who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, to return to work or school.”
According to the government, 1,630 spaces have been added in Greater Victoria, 84 spaces in Sooke and 213 spaces in North Saanich and the surrounding areas since July 2018.
Additionally, the Province estimates these investments have saved parents in Victoria, North Saanich, Sooke and Tahsis “almost $50 million on child care.”