COQUITLAM, B.C. – The provincial government announced today that it will be funding 22,000 new licensed child care spaces coming over the next three years.
The new spaces will be created through a $221-million investment in the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, which replaces the Child Care Major Capital Funding Program. Children and Family Development Minister Katrine Conroy said that the government will be looking to leverage existing facilities – such as those on school grounds, in churches, at recreation centres, and other public places – to expand child care for B.C. families. Creating new infant and toddler spaces will be a priority.
“Parents are struggling to find quality, affordable child care, and it’s time we made the investments that are good for families, and for our economy,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “Creating more licensed, affordable child care spaces is a key part of our new Childcare BC plan, so parents can have the peace of mind they need and quality care they can rely on.”
Under the new fund, child care spaces created by child development centres or Indigenous communities remain eligible for 100 percent of the cost of their projects, up to a maximum of $500,000. Not-for-profit organizations will be supported to create new child care spaces under the new fund, with these organizations remaining eligible for up to 90 percent of the total cost of their projects, up to a maximum of $500,000. Private child care providers remain eligible for 75 percent of the total cost of their project, up to a maximum of $250,000.
Conroy said that the government will adopt a streamlined application process with a continuous intake, rather than fixed application dates. Boards of education will have 100 percent eligibility of the total cost of their project up to a maximum of $500,000 for child care spaces they create.
“Too many parents are dealing with a lack of good options when it comes to child care, and that’s only made worse as spaces close due to financial pressures on child care operators,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “With our Childcare BC plan, we’re letting operators and parents know that government is on their side, and investing in their future. Creating these new spaces is the latest step in making child care more available and affordable for more families.”
More information on these changes will be available later in the coming months.