Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen (left) and Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside read to children after a childcare announcement last year. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen (left) and Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside read to children after a childcare announcement last year. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Families in Vanderhoof to benefit from $10-a-day childcare spaces

The YMCA Vanderhoof Care and Learning Centre is getting 68 affordable childcare spaces

Five childcare sites are being brought into the province’s $10-a-day childcare program, B.C. minister responsible for childcare Katrina Chen announced Thursday (March 24).

Families will pay no more than $200 per month per child for full-time enrolment during regular business hours at these sites.

The YMCA Vanderhoof Care and Learning Centre will get 68 spaces. 16 of those spaces are for three years old to kindergarten age, 20 are for preschool, 24 are for school-age and eight are multi-age.

Chen said the affordable childcare spaces will “make an incredible difference” in the lives of families in northeast B.C.

In its 2021 budget B.C. committed to expanding the number of $10-a-day spaces by converting 3,750 licensed childcare spaces into low-cost spaces for families. The province said 299 new $10-a-day spaces in the northeast are part of this commitment.

Those include 97 spaces at the YMCA Massey Care and Learning Centre in Prince George, 61 spaces at the YMCA Margaret “Ma” Murray Care and Learning Centre in Fort St. John and 48 new spaces located in the municipal community centre in Valemont. The YMCA Chetwynd Care and Learning Centre will also get 25 spaces.

READ MORE: Provincial 2022 budget allows for investments in childcare and programs for B.C. families

Chen said more savings are on the way for all types of childcare.

“When our ChildCareBC plan is fully implemented, no family will pay more than $10-a-day for licensed childcare,” Chen said.

“As we work toward that goal, tens of thousands of parents are already benefiting by saving up to $1,600-a-month on childcare.”

This expansion increases the number of $10-a-day ChildCareBC spaces available for families from 2,500 when the program began in 2018 to more than 6,500.

By partnering with the federal government through the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement the province said the number of affordable spaces will more than double again to 12,500 by Dec. 2022.

YMCA of Northern B.C. childcare services director Lynette Mikalishen said they’re excited to provide more accessible childcare to northeast residents.

In addition to $10-a-day childcare investments the province said its budget builds on existing provincial funding through investments such as the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative and the Affordable Child Care Benefit.

With new federal investments, the average rate of childcare is expected to be reduced by 50 per cent from 2019 levels for children five and younger by the end of this year.


 

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