B.C. reaches milestone for newly funded child care spaces
British Columbia has surpassed 30,500 new child care spaces funded since ChildCareBC launched in 2018, giving parents greater ability to pursue education, schooling and other opportunities while knowing their children are supported.
After weeks of celebrating new spaces in regions across British Columbia, two Langley-area child care providers have received new spaces funding to create 146 new licensed child care spaces for families, helping to reach a milestone for new licensed child care spaces funded since July 2018.
“Funding more than 30,500 new licensed child care spaces is a real cause for celebration and is made possible by the providers and organizations that have come together to apply for New Spaces funding,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State at Childcare. “Funding more spaces is good for families, for communities and for the economy, because it means more parents will be able to pursue their careers, return to school and be active in their communities, knowing that their children are well cared for. We ensure that childcare is no longer a luxury but an essential service for everyone.
Provincial funding of $84 million and more than $35 million in federal funding from the Pan-Canadian Early Learning and Child Care Agreement between Canada and British Columbia is supporting 77 child care sites in British Columbia to create 3,587 new licensed child care spaces in the latest round of the New Spaces Fund program.
“High-quality, affordable and inclusive child care is becoming a reality in British Columbia,” said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Youth Inclusion. People with Disabilities and MP for Delta. “It’s a game-changer for so many parents, especially mothers who won’t have to choose between raising a family and having a career. I can’t wait to see what a difference this will make for children, families, workers – for entire communities – across the province.
Since the launch of ChildCareBC, the province has invested $2.7 billion in ChildCareBC, and the Government of Canada has invested more than $662 million in early learning and child care in British Columbia since 2017.
“My daughter has been enrolled in Cookie Monster Preschool for two years, and going to school has provided her with invaluable socializing opportunities with children her own age,” said Heather Gillard, a mother. “It also helped her gain confidence and comfort through predictable daily routines and caring, supportive teachers. I know it’s the right choice for her when I see her waking up excited to learn and play with her friends!
New places require new early childhood educators (ECEs). A recruitment and retention strategy was included in British Columbia’s ChildCareBC 10-year plan, launched in 2018. Progress made since then includes:
- providing over 10,000 scholarships to support nearly 6,000 ECE students;
- the creation of 1,150 new places for ECE students in post-secondary schools, which has more than doubled the number of places since 2018; and
- increase ECE pay by $4 per hour.
British Columbia’s 2022 budget builds on this with an investment of $3.9 million over the next three years to add 390 new ECE seats at public post-secondary institutions in British Columbia.
Thanks to ChildCareBC’s investments, BC parents have saved $960 million.
- In 2022-23, the 2022 BC Budget provides an additional $30 million for the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund to further increase the number of licensed child care spaces, with a focus on spaces for school-aged children.
- Each month, more than 30,500 children receive support through the province’s Affordable Child Care Benefit. Parents earning less than $45,000 can receive 100% funding and those earning up to $111,000 can receive partial funding.
- In 2021-22, fee reductions were approved for more than 69,000 child care spaces at more than 3,600 child care centers in British Columbia through the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (CCFRI).
- Participation in CCFRI is a requirement of New Spaces funding and means parents of children five and under will see savings of up to $350 per month per child, depending on their age.
- To support the goal of ensuring access to quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care, the Government of Canada will provide $3.2 billion for child care in British Columbia over five years, from 2021-22 to 2025-26. Pan-Canadian Agreement on Early Learning and Child Care.
- This is in addition to more than $323 million provided through the Canada-British Columbia ELCC Agreement from 2021-22 to 2024-25, which included $49.2 million through a one-time investment in 2021-22 to support the early childhood educator workforce.
- By March 2026, BC families will benefit from the funding of approximately 60,000 new licensed spaces for all ages in child care since the launch of ChildCareBC through provincial and federal support; this number will increase to approximately 70,000 by March 2028.
To learn more about ChildCareBC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
To learn more about the New Spaces Fund, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/caring-for-young-children/running-daycare-preschool/childcare-new-spaces-fund
Details on the latest New Spaces Fund projects in British Columbia: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/New_Spaces_Fund_Backgrounder.pdf
To learn more about Towards $10 a Day: Early Learning and Child Care: https://www.canada.ca/en/early-child-care-learning-agreement/province-territory-agreements/british-columbia-canada-wide-2021.html
Two background documents follow.