Child care is getting less expensive and easier to find in Victoria as the Province invests in 260 new spaces to give more parents the option to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.
Morning routines will soon be easier for parents as 144 of the 260 new spaces will be co-located at three elementary schools in the capital region.
“I’m proud to be part of a government that is investing in child care spaces on school grounds so parents can access high-quality child care they can rely upon in one convenient location,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “Our government and school districts are working together, so children in early childhood education programs can ease into the school environment and feel familiar and comfortable when they transition into kindergarten.”
The Greater Victoria School District is partnering with non-profit organizations to deliver these new spaces. Each facility will be fully accessible and offer inclusive child care for children with extra support needs.
“The Greater Victoria School Board is very proud to be a leader in partnering with the Province to provide much-needed infrastructure for child care,” said Ann Whiteaker, vice-chair, Greater Victoria School Board. “When we identified the urgent need for more child care spaces in our region, the Board of Education was very excited to collaborate with the Province and local partners to offer a solution that would serve both children and families in our community. We understand the important role before and after school care can play in facilitating a successful day for students. By having accessible child care on site, we will support families and provide quality early learning.”
Three other projects in Victoria will also provide new spaces for parents:
- Oasis Daycare is creating 24 new spaces;
- Little Wild Early Learning is creating 16; and
- Maple Tree Children’s Centre is creating 76.
More than 770 new, affordable licensed child care spaces in Victoria have been funded by the Province since the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund launched in July 2018. Many of these spaces are already open to parents, including 85 co-located at Frank Hobbs Elementary school. The spaces are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history, with more than 10,400 being funded in the past 15 months.
With the addition of 900 spaces funded through partnerships with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and Aboriginal Head Start using federal funding, and 4,100 spaces created through the 2017 Budget update, more than 15,400 spaces have been created in B.C. This brings the total spaces funded in Victoria in the past two years to nearly 980.
“I am thrilled to see this investment in child care in Oak Bay-Gordon Head and other areas of the region,” said Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head. “Partnering with our non-profit organizations is a win-win, especially for these children and their families. There is no better investment than in the well-being of our children. We share these priorities with the government and through quality, affordable child care with a strong focus on early education, we set up our children for success.”
Since launching in February 2018, the Childcare BC plan has helped parents in Victoria save nearly $24 million through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin and Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity —
“Affordable, quality, universal child care is one of the most effect ways to close the gender pay gap. By investing in child care, we are investing in families, the economy and opportunities for parents.”
- In November 2018, two child care providers in Victoria were selected to deliver low-cost child care as Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites:
- Fernwood Infant and Toddler Care and Fernwood Neighbourhood Childcare is providing 99 child care spaces: 20 for children under 36 months, 25 for children aged three years to kindergarten and 54 for children up to age 12.
- Lexie’s Little Bears Child Care is providing 57 child care spaces: 28 for children under 36 months and 29 for children aged three years to kindergarten.
- The Province has made significant investments to improve supports to B.C.’s early care and learning professionals. To date, more than 10,000 early childhood educators have received a $1-per-hour wage enhancement, with another $1-per-hour lift coming in April 2020.
- The Province has provided more than $880,000 to early childhood educators in Victoria through the wage enhancement.
For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
To learn more about the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund and to apply, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund
To find child care in a community, view the online child care map: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/
Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430