REACTING to The VOICE’s story — “NDP MLAs stage photo-op at recently defunded childcare centre: BC Liberals” (June 27) — Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen said in a statement on Tuesday: “The opposition’s claim that we are shutting down this centre is completely false – we value our ongoing partnership with Alexandra Neighbourhood House, and their willingness to help pass along savings through the $10-a-Day program and through our Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.”
She added: “We will continue to fund them and support them in delivering high-quality child care for children and families in Surrey.”
Chen noted: “Our government is committed to making quality child care a core service available to all families who need it.”
The Ministry of Education and Child Care noted:
- Alexandra Neighbourhood Children’s House has five facilities receiving government funding to support affordable licensed child care, including at the location Chen visited last week.
- Two of these facilities are $10-a-Day sites (including the Crescent Park location), where government pays all of their eligible costs except for the $10 a day per child they receive from families accessing full-time care.
- The remaining three have all recently had their operating funding renewed, which include enrolment in the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, to reduce costs for parents.
- Approximately 2,500 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in Surrey since the launch of ChildCareBC in July 2018. 531 new spaces were announced in April 2022, at six child care providers, and an additional 1,999 new spaces have been funded since 2018.
The ministry also noted: “In past years, Alexandra House has received funding for early years programming. In 2019 the Province changed the way early years programming is funded in order to allocate more funding to direct services and family supports. Organizations receiving funding under the previous model were invited to apply for funding in the new model. Most organizations saw this shift take place in 2019, but a small number of organizations, including Alexandra House, had contracts extended on a time limited basis. The organization’s current contract expired in 2022, and the organization was notified in February the contract would not be renewed. Following this notice, Alexandra House was provided with a three-month extension in funding to June 2022.
“Child care services and other programs that are offered through Alexandra Neighbourhood House are not affected by the expiration of the early years contract.”