B.C. aims to create more childcare spaces
New provincial guidelines are being established with the aim of helping local governments to pair funding programs and purchase land to create new childcare spaces in B.C.
Municipalities and regional districts can now apply for up to $4 million to buy land for child care centres and create new licensed childcare spaces in their communities, the provincial government announced Sept. 24.
Previously, the maximum funding available was $1 million and local governments had only one fund to draw from, leaving them to cover the costs of land purchases and additional spaces for new childcare projects.
“We hear from local leaders about how important it is to have good quality childcare to create a family-friendly community and attract employers to their cities and towns,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “We want to work with municipalities and regional districts to help make affordable quality child care accessible throughout the province. These grants are a strategic investment to ensure spaces are created where they’re needed most, strengthening communities and our economy.”
Like last year, planning grants of up to $25,000 are available to help municipalities and regional districts identify needs and create new child care spaces over the next 10 years.
“We know we can create hundreds of new childcare spaces if we work together,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “I encourage local governments to apply for this funding, so childcare can be in reach for their residents. Next year we hope to have a lot more success stories to share.”
In September 2018, the province announced two new programs to help local governments plan for and create new licensed childcare spaces – the Community Child Care Space Creation Program and the Community Child Care Planning Grant Program.
Funded through the Canada – British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, the space creation program offers up to $1 million per project to help local governments create new licensed childcare spaces. By combining funding with the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, local governments can now access up to $4 million per project.
Both programs are delivered in partnership with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.
Applications are being accepted for the Community Child Care Space Creation Program until Nov. 22, and the Community Child Care Planning Grant program until Jan. 31, 2020.