The B.C. government intends to create 395 new childcare spaces in Greater Victoria through funding for six providers in the region.
The additional spaces, funded through ChildCareBC’s New Spaces Fund, add to the 2,152 new spaces created since the organization was launched in 2018.
Some of the spaces will be at facilities on school property and the age range is from infant-toddler to school age. The school grounds sites allow for the integration of education programs into the childcare environment, the Ministry of Education and Child Care stated in a release.
“For decades, parents who wanted to work or attend school were left with few options. I am glad we are working to build a system where child care is accessible for everyone who wants it,” MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin Mitzi Dean said.
The facilities to be taking on the extra spaces include the non-profit Next Level Childcare (86 spaces), Esquimalt Child Care Centre (36 spaces), Uplands Elementary (48 spaces), Glanford Child Care Centre (44 school-age spaces), Colwood Elementary School (73 spaces), Victory Hill Daycare (24 spaces), and a yet to be determined facility on school grounds within the Saanich School District (84 spaces).
Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen said before ChildCareBC, childcare was treated as a luxury in the province.
“As we enter the fifth year of our 10-year ChildCareBC plan, we are making significant progress to reverse this. We’ve been working to turn the corner by building new spaces, lowering fees and training the skilled professionals needed to offer quality child care as a core service available to every family that wants it at a price they can afford,” she said.
Per ChildCareBC’s strategy for early childhood educator (ECE) recruitment and retention, the number of post-secondary seats for ECE training has doubled since 2018 with 1,150 added, and compensation has raised by $4 per hour.
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