By Premier John Horgan
For too long, too many parents in B.C. have been struggling to find quality child care.
We’ve heard stories from parents across B.C. who have put their careers on hold or haven’t been able to return to work after parental leave because there’s no care available for their kids. Some people are even having to make the tough decision to hold off having kids, simply because of the lack of affordable, quality child care.
To care for kids, help lift families up, and boost our economy, our government has made the most significant investment in child care in B.C.’s history – $1-billion over three years to deliver quality and affordable child care for families in every part of the province.
Just this week we announced over 400 new licensed child care spaces created through the Childcare BC Start-Up Grant Program, and hundreds more are on the way. Families deserve quality child care they can depend on. By supporting new and existing unlicensed child care providers to become licensed, we’re bringing quality child care to more families.
In total, we’re investing $237 million over the next three years to support the creation of 22,000 new licensed child care spaces around the province. Almost 1,600 spaces have already been funded through the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, including more than 150 spaces for Surrey alone.
All of these new, licensed, spaces and facilities will be part of the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, which is helping lower the cost of child care for parents at thousands of approved licensed child care facilities by up to $350 a month per child.
Under the Affordable Child Care Benefit, introduced in September 2018, parents may be eligible for up to $1,250 per month, per child, up from $750 under the previous Child Care Subsidy.
The Affordable Child Care Benefit expanded eligibility to families earning up to $111,000 up from $55,000 under the old subsidy. Making child care more affordable for lower and middle-income families. More than 80,000 B.C. families are now eligible for some level of support through the new benefit, up from only 20,000 families under the previous subsidy.
And in November 2018 we launched our Childcare BC Prototype Sites , and converted approximately 2,500 child care spaces at 53 child care facilities throughout B.C. into low-cost spaces that will model child care at a cost of $200 a month, or less, per child.
This is only the beginning. We’re on our way to achieving our goal of making sure quality, affordable child care is available to every family in B.C. It’s good for people, it’s good for kids, and it’s good for the economy.
We’re going to keep working hard to deliver results, make life better for people, and build a brighter future for everyone in B.C.