Province testing universal child care at select sites, none in mid-island

Lloyd Doyle
November 12, 2018

On the Island, the $10-a-day prototype sites are: Fernwood Infant & Toddler Care in Victoria, Lexie's Little Bears Child Care in Langford, Grandma Marg's Clubhouse in Tofino, Rainbow Country Daycare Society in Port Hardy, the Alberni Valley Childcare Society's baby steps program in Port Alberni, the Hornby Island Daycare Society, Tigger Too Early Learning Centre in Comox and Parkside Academy Society in Duncan.

The prototype plan announced Friday afternoon includes spaces for about 2,500 children at 53 child-care facilities in both rural and urban areas around the province.

Twelve families will pay a maximum of $200 per month for child care in a pilot project at the North Shore Neighbourhood House's Novaco Daycare. While the prototype projects will last 18 months, Premier John Horgan said more sites could be implemented before that time.

"Today we're making history in B.C.", says Children and Family Development minister Katrine Conroy.

The facilities will receive government funding to cover costs. The amount of the quality improvement grant for each site will be determined as part of the province's evaluations of the sites' programs and improvement plans.

The dream of $10 a day child care is closer for dozens of Coquitlam families whose child care centers have been chosen for a pilot that substantially reduces or eliminates fees. "These high-quality, low-priced spaces will help shape the future direction of our Childcare B.C. plan, and we're excited to be working alongside providers to make life better for B.C. families".

"Prototype sites give us a glimpse of what the future of universal child care in B.C. can be, and are critical as we design and refine our program moving forward", said Katrina Chen, B.C.'s Minister of State for Child Care. "To develop these activities, the educators work in concert with the children, guiding them, encouraging them and inspiring them".

Dicks said the daycare centre did not have to change any of its day-to-day operations or make any concessions in order to receive the funds.

There's also a fee-reduction initiative for licensed child-care providers, which can apply for as much as $350 a month per child-care space to reduce fees.

"Families can now have confidence that their children will be cared for in a quality, licensed facility and it will not cost more than a month's rent or a mortgage to do that".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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