The B.C. government has announced more than 3,100 new licensed child care spaces, including more than 100 in the Kamloops area.
An additional 3,160 new licensed child care spaces have now been funded throughout the province, according to the provincial government.
Kamloops will be seeing more than 100 new spaces, with the Gateway City Church creating 75 at the Gateway Children’s Centre and the Cariboo Childcare Society creating another 37 spaces.
“Despite the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, our goal to create new childcare spaces throughout the province continues to gain momentum,” Katrina Chen, minister of state for child care, said.
“We’ve been able to fund nearly 16,800 new spaces in the past two years, helping to fulfil our promise of better, more affordable childcare options for children and families throughout B.C.”
Recent changes made by the government to the School Act will make it even easier for school boards to create and operate before- and after-school care.
The changes will also require school boards to prioritize space that is not being used for K-12 students for child care and encourage school boards to adopt an inclusive child care policy.
“For too long, families throughout B.C. have struggled to find quality, affordable child care close to home,” said Rob Fleming, minister of education.
“We’re making it easier for child care to be delivered on school properties, because children benefit when they spend more time in spaces that are already designed for enrichment and play, and families save time and money with one central drop-off location in their neighbourhoods.”
Since launching in February 2018, the Childcare BC plan has helped parents save up to $1,600 each month, per child, for a total of nearly $510 million going to families through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, according to government figures.