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Province of British Columbia
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2018CFD0050-001352
July 6, 2018
Ministry of Children and Family Development
22,000 new licensed child care spaces to help B.C. families

COQUITLAM – Thousands of families struggling with the shortage of quality child care will benefit from the 22,000 new licensed spaces coming over the next three years.

“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.”

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.

These new child care spaces will be more affordable, and the funding will be easier to access for private-sector, non-profit and public-sector child care providers. The fund will continue to support the creation of spaces on school grounds, making life easier for families.

“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.”

As part of this investment, government will be looking to leverage existing facilities – on school grounds, in churches, at recreation centres and other public places – to expand child care for B.C. families. As well, funding preference will continue to be given to communities with the greatest need, such as fast-developing urban centres, and Indigenous, rural and remote communities. Creating infant and toddler spaces will be a priority.

“We know many families are struggling to find child care in Coquitlam,” said Amy Reid, director of Step by Step Child Development Society, an established non-profit centre in the Tri-Cities. “We want to see more families having access to affordable and inclusive care. We are hopeful this new fund will support the development of partnerships, resulting in increased access to quality care for families.”

As part of its commitment to expanding quality child care throughout the province, the government is working to address wages, recruitment and retention for early childhood educators. More information on these changes will be available later in the coming months.

Learn More:

To learn more about child care in B.C., visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare 

Two backgrounders follow.

 
Contact:
 
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 356-2028
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER 1
For Immediate Release
2018CFD0050-001352
July 6, 2018
Ministry of Children and Family Development
Childcare BC New Spaces Fund

To support families struggling with child care, Budget 2018 announced a $221-million investment in the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund.

The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund is introducing several key changes, including:

  • A streamlined application process and a continuous intake, rather than fixed application dates, will allow child care providers to apply for funding when they need it, even if they are planning longer-term projects, and will help ensure that licensed child care spaces are being continually built throughout the year.
  • Boards of education will have 100% eligibility (up from 90%) of the total cost of their project, up to a maximum of $500,000, for child care spaces they create.
  • For the first time, prioritizing or targeting funding to public-sector partnerships – including local governments and boards of education – that are looking to create child care spaces with other non-profit providers. These partnerships may apply for up to 100% of the total cost of their project, up to a maximum of $1 million. Parents will benefit from public projects that provide greater stability and help protect them from lease or fee increases.
  • Successful applicants for Childcare BC New Spaces funding must participate in the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative to help ensure that the new spaces that will be created will be remain more affordable for B.C. families.
  • Under the new fund, child care spaces created by child development centres or Indigenous communities remain eligible for 100% of the cost of their projects, up to a maximum of $500,000. This will help ensure that children throughout the province will continue to have their physical and cultural needs met through programs that are tailored specifically for them.
  • 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% of the total cost of their projects, up to a maximum of $500,000. Private child care providers remain eligible for 75% of the total cost of their project, up to a maximum of $250,000.

The ministry will run information sessions for providers in the coming weeks. For information about these, or to find out more about the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund

 
Contact:
 
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 356-2028
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER 2
For Immediate Release
2018CFD0050-001352
July 6, 2018
Ministry of Children and Family Development
22,000 new spaces part of broader initiatives at Childcare BC

The Province’s $221-million investment to build new licensed child care spaces for B.C. families comes as part of government’s three-year, $1-billion investment in Childcare BC – the most significant child care investment in B.C. history.

Childcare BC has three key pillars: quality, affordability and accessibility.

Quality

A key goal under Childcare BC is to improve the quality of the province’s child care system, through enhanced supports for early childhood educators (ECEs) and other child care professionals. Quality will be achieved by enhancing training and development opportunities, as well as addressing the issue of wages and recruitment in the sector.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development (CFD), in partnership with Early Childhood Educators of BC, provides a bursary for students who are enrolled in early childhood educational programs at one of 32 approved post-secondary institutions in B.C.: www.ecebc.ca/programs/student_bursary.html

CFD is looking to expand this fund, with support from the Government of Canada under the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, to increase training and development opportunities for ECEs across the province.

As part of Childcare BC, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training is investing $7.4 million, over the next three years, to fund an additional 620 early childhood educator seats at public post-secondary institutions throughout B.C.

In addition, CFD is currently looking at ways to support existing early childhood educators (ECEs), as well as recruit new ECEs, by addressing the issue of wages and improving recruitment and retention in the sector. More information on these next steps will be available later in the summer.

Affordability

The Province has moved quickly to support parents who are struggling with the high cost of child care. The Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, introduced in April 2018, helps lower the cost of child care for parents at approved licensed child care facilities by up to $350 a month per child. To date, nearly 45,000 spaces are eligible for a reduction in fees, and the initiative has put more than $12 million back in parents’ pockets.

Providers who have been approved for the initiative are listed online: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/optin

On Sept. 1, 2018, the Affordable Child Care Benefit will replace the existing Child Care Subsidy. Under the new benefit, eligible parents can apply for up to $1,250 per month, per child. The Affordable Child Care Benefit expands eligibility to families with a pre-tax income of up to $111,000 (up from $55,000 under the subsidy), and will support around 86,000 families by 2021.

Accessibility

The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund will help address the shortage of child care spaces throughout the province by supporting the creation of up to 22,000 new licensed spaces over the next three years.

The new Childcare BC Maintenance Fund, introduced in June 2018, will help eligible child care providers to maintain existing spaces by providing funding to help them with minor repairs or to replace equipment in order to meet licensing standards. The fund helps cover relocation costs for eligible providers so they can quickly move their operations, if needed, and continue to support B.C. children and their families: www.gov.bc.ca/ccmaintenancefund

In June 2018, the Province launched the Start-Up Grant program to support individuals and unlicensed child care providers to become licensed. Applicants can apply for funding to help them cover the costs of becoming licensed, including training and application fees for licensing, hiring replacement staff while taking a course, and buying equipment for a child care facility. Becoming licensed allows providers to care for more children, and will help to enhance the quality of child care throughout B.C.: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/startupgrants

In the coming months, the Province will look to build and strengthen partnerships with local governments to create new child care spaces. Working together will help leverage existing public spaces to build new child care facilities more quickly.

Early Learning and Child Care Agreement

Investments under the Province’s Childcare BC plan are complemented by the Province’s three-year, $153-million Early Learning and Child Care Agreement (ELCC) with the Government of Canada, which was signed in February 2018.

Under ELCC, the Province is investing $60 million to create Universal Child Care Prototype Sites in B.C. Launching in September 2018, this project will create approximately 1,800 child care spaces that will model child care at a cost of $200 a month, or less, per child: www.gov.bc.ca/childcareprototypesites  

The Province has committed $30 million to expand Aboriginal Head Start programs in B.C. These programs provide culturally based, inclusive child care and early learning, family bonding and prevention services.

Aboriginal Head Start on Reserve: www.fnha.ca/what-we-do/maternal-child-and-family-health/aboriginal-head-start-on-reserve

Aboriginal Head Start in urban communities: www.ahsabc.com

In May 2018, the Province announced an additional $3 million over the next three years – on top of its annual funding of $1.6 million – to boost the monthly subsidy amount available to eligible young parents to up to $1,500 a month per child. The increase in funding will help to serve the child care needs of approximately 220 young-parent families per year: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=41CD55C0B3ED4F51A0274EDE85E886F5

The Province will announce further ELCC investments in the coming months.

 
Contact:
 
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 356-2028
 

 
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect