THE Province is making affordable, quality child care more accessible for families in Surrey and Coquitlam by investing in five projects that will create 217 new licensed spaces.
“Now more than ever, it’s critical to have good supports like quality and inclusive child care to help families find their ‘new normal’ and continue to thrive,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “With the addition of more than 200 new child care spaces in Surrey and Coquitlam, we’re helping them do just that, by making life better and more affordable for parents with young children.”
Through the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, the Province is investing in the following projects:
- Just Kiddies Childcare (Coquitlam) – 36 spaces
- City of Surrey – 36 spaces
- Sowing Seeds Preschool (Surrey) – 20 spaces
- St. George Malankara Orthodox Church (Surrey) – 37 spaces
- School District No. 36 (Surrey) – 88 spaces
“For too long, families in Surrey have struggled to find quality, affordable child care close to home, and that’s why our government is undertaking the fastest creation of child care spaces in the province’s history,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “We’re making it easier for child care to be delivered on school property, because everyone benefits when kids have services in facilities already equipped for enrichment and play, while families save time and money with one central drop-off location in their neighbourhoods.”
These new spaces in Surrey and Coquitlam are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history. They were included in March 2020’s milestone announcement of 13,000 new spaces the Province has funded since July 2018.
An additional 4,100 spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, takes the total to more than 17,000 new licensed spaces since July 2017.
Since launching in February 2018, the Childcare BC plan has helped parents save almost $500 million through the Affordable Child Care Benefit (ACCB) and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (CCFRI). Over 69,500 children have been approved for ACCB benefit plans since the start of the program. Currently, over 61,000 licensed child care spaces are approved to receive CCFRI funding.
Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Garry Begg, MLA for Surrey-Guildford, said: “The announcement of 88 new child care spaces in Surrey-Guildford is wonderful news for our community. I am so proud to be part of a government that is investing in quality, affordable child care to make life better for families in Surrey.”
Harry Bains, MLA for Surrey-Newton, added: “For too long, calls for affordable, quality child care in our community went unanswered and ignored. Our government is making different choices, creating new child care spaces in Surrey so that families have access to the quality child care they deserve.”
Jinny Sims, MLA for Surrey-Panorama, noted: “Investments in child care are good for the economy, and good for kids and families. I’m so proud to be part of a government that is committed to making life better for families in our community.”
- As the Province moves towards its “new normal” under COVID-19, child care capital builds may see unexpected delays.
- Once operational, child care providers will be required to follow guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control to keep staff and the families they serve safe and to limit the risk of transmission.
- The City of Coquitlam is receiving a $25,000 grant through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities’ Community Child Care Planning Grant Program to help create a long-term child care plan to support families in the community.
- Six child care providers in Surrey and three in Coquitlam are providing child care for no more than $10 a day as part of the Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites Program.
- To date, the Province has invested more than $19 million to provide nearly 12,000 early childhood educators with a $1-per-hour wage enhancement, which increased to $2 per hour in April 2020, to better recognize the important work they do.