The provincial government is saying its investment in childcare means it’s getting less expensive and easier to find for families in Campbell River.
The 12 new spaces funded by the province, announced last week, give more parents the option to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities, according to Katrina Chen, minister of state for child care.
“By making child care a priority, our government is building a province that opens the doors of opportunity to young people of all backgrounds,” Chen says. “We are making child care more affordable and accessible, so people in Campbell River don’t have to choose between starting a family or growing their career.”
Island Life Early Learning Centre in the Salvation Army community church is creating the 12 newest infant/toddler spaces through the most recent round of Childcare BC’s New Spaces funding. The centre offers a number of services for families, including support for those who are new to Canada and Indigenous language programming and plans to host monthly guest speaker nights where parents can learn more about child development, nutrition and health, according to owner/operator Jennifer Cross.
“Our goal is to create a centre that provides a multicultural, socially stimulating and community minded environment that puts children on the path to self-development and success,” Cross says. “This provincial funding means we can renovate our space to help more kids grow, learn and thrive in an environment that nurtures all aspects of their development.”
The province says more than 75 new, affordable licensed child care spaces in Campbell River have been funded since the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund launched in July 2018, claiming they have been involved in the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history, with more than 10,400 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 funded in B.C.,” according to the province’s press release. “This brings the total spaces funded in Campbell River in the past two years to more than 170.”
“Children in Campbell River deserve the best possible start in life and that means the opportunity to develop their critical thinking, communication and social skills in a safe environment,” says Claire Trevena, MLA for North Island. “The investments our government is making in child care mean parents are facing fewer financial pressures and have more peace of mind when they drop their kids off in the morning.”
For more information on the Childcare BC New Spaces fund and to apply, head to gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund. The government also has an interactive map available of childcare spaces available at maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/