Victoria

Province invests in more than 400 more childcare spaces in Greater Victoria

 Mar. 6, 2020

‘These extra spaces will provide relief for many families,’ says Cordova Bay Elementary PAC president

The B.C. government is helping to bring more than 400 new childcare spaces to the Capital Regional District (CRD).

On Friday morning, Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development; Rob Fleming, Minister of Education and MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake; and Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South were at Cordova Bay Elementary to announce investment in 462 new childcare spaces for the region.

In an effort to make quality childcare more affordable and accessible, the province is investing in the new spaces along with seven new projects with local school districts.

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Child Care Fee Survey Results

B.C. child-care funding benefits centres, not families, in some cities

March 12, 2020 Nick Eagland, The Vancouver Sun

Government programs to make child care more affordable in B.C. are helping families but some for-profit centres may not be passing all of those benefits along, according to a new survey by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

For the left-leaning think tank’s sixth annual report on child-care fees, authors David Macdonald and Martha Friendly gathered data using a phone survey of licensed full-day child care centres and home or family child-care providers in 37 cities across Canada.

In B.C., they found that the median monthly cost for infant and toddler care in 2019 was $825 in Kelowna; $1,000 in Burnaby and Surrey; $1,112 in Vancouver; and $1,200 in Richmond. For preschool-aged children, care cost $810 in Kelowna; $850 in Burnaby and Surrey; $954 in Vancouver; and $955 in Richmond.

Macdonald and Friendly said B.C.’s fee-reduction initiative, launched in 2018 to cut fees at approved licensed facilities by up to $350-a-month per child, appears to have stopped increases between 2017 and 2019 but didn’t substantially reduce fees for children over three years old. Fees declined for children under three in Burnaby and Vancouver, where most centres are not-for-profit.

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Castlegar

Improving access to quality, affordable child care in Castlegar

by Contributor on Friday Mar 13 2020

The Province is making affordable, quality child care more accessible for families in Castlegar by investing in 30 new spaces.  

“Partnering with local government lets us create more new licensed child care spaces that will help strengthen the community for years to come,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “This is about making a long-term investment in the area and the young families that call Castlegar home.”

Through the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is creating 30 new spaces: 10 spaces for children aged three to five, and 20 school-age spaces. The RDCK is partnering with the Kootenay Family Place Society for Children and Youth, which has been operating child care centres in the area for over 45 years. The district expects the new centre to open in September 2021.

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Close Child Care Programs

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Editorial

Editorial: New childcare spaces a step in the right direction

It has been a banner year for parents in the Cowichan Valley looking for childcare.

It was announced last week that three new childcare centres will be opening in the Cowichan Valley in September of this year.

They will be school based — at Palsson Elementary in Lake Cowichan, Alexander Elementary in Duncan and Mill Bay Elementary in Mill Bay — and have come about through provincial funding.

These centres will provide nearly 120 new childcare spaces.

This comes on top of a previous announcement in June 2019 of three other new centres that were slated for completion early this year, one at Cowichan Valley Open Learning Co-operative, one at Chemainus Elementary, and one at Khowhemun Elementary. Those are to provide 160 new childcare spaces. These were also courtesy of the province’s Childcare BC New Spaces Fund.

Whew! When was the last time the Cowichan Valley saw this kind of investment in childcare?

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BC Budget 2020 Media Release

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Child Care Top of Mind

Child care, housing top of mind for parents ahead of budget

Jesse Johnston · CBC News · Posted: Feb 12, 2020

The B.C. government will table the budget on Feb. 18, 2020

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Katie Barthel, a mother of two from Surrey, is an advocate for $10-a-day daycare in B.C. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)

There's a short window during Katie Barthel's lunch break when she's able sneak away from work to discuss the upcoming budget.

Barthel — who lives in South Surrey with her husband and two daughters, aged four and eight, and sits on the board of directors for the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. — says a $10 per day child-care system would be a major help to families like hers where both parents work full time.

"It would help us balance our lifestyle and be able to do more things as a family, save for our children's education or retirement," she said.

"It could also help us pay for the increasingly difficult housing market in B.C."

Barthel says her neighbourhood has seen explosive population growth since her children were born, so it's been a challenge for her friends and neighbours to find child-care spaces.

The B.C. government says it is working with schools to create more spaces, but Adrienne Montani with the advocacy group, First Call, says many low income families still can't afford child care.

"Those who are lucky enough to get a spot are often stretching way beyond their budget or they're not going back to work," she said.

"That's both single families and parents in couple families."

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$10aDay Prototypes to Continue

Pilot project for $10 daycare extended to April 2021

Victoria News 

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The 80 Victoria families benefiting from the $10 a day daycare pilot program will be receiving daycare at that same price until April 2021.

Lexie Biegun says she recently found out that the provincial government had renewed the project for Lexie’s Little Bears’ Child Care Inc., one of two sites in Greater Victoria taking part in the prototype stage of universal affordable child care for Canadians.

The pilot project offers childcare for $200 per month.

“It’s such a cliche, but it’s like winning the lottery,” said Biegun, the owner of the daycare. “The families have been over the moon with this pilot project. Everyone wants a piece of it.”

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A Plan for School-Aged Child Care in Schools

It just makes sense!

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On November 8, 2019, BC’s Minister of Education hosted a very significant Early Learning Summit. The Summit brought together school district leaders, teachers, and representatives from child care organizations from across BC to hear about the current research and evidence on the social and financial benefits of investing in early learning, discuss school-age child care, and listen to school district/community stories.

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Promise of Universal $10-a-day Child Care

Globe & Mail Editorial January 12, 2020

Life in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland is expensive. The high cost of housing is widely known, but another outsized bill is the cost of child care, which ranks among the highest in the country.

The provincial NDP eked into government in 2017, promising to make life more affordable. Among the main pillars of its platform was $10-a-day child care.

The $10-a-day banner is a mythic and unrealized figure in most of Canada. It’s based on Quebec’s long-standing child-care program, which is cheap for parents, but heavily subsidized by taxpayers.

While the BC NDP’s platform did promise to “bring in” $10-a-day care, the party was cautious about timing. It wasn’t promised immediately, or for every child – there simply wasn’t room in the budget for that much new spending, that quickly. The initial focus was to be on low-income families, and kids under the age of 2. The party also said it had no intention of blowing up the existing patchwork of care, from licensed family homes to other operators.

In power, the minority NDP government has been cautious. It can claim to have made progress on increasing access to low-cost child care, but the results so far illustrate the challenges of making a big difference without spending big amounts of money.

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