Kitimat is to benefit from new child care spaces which will allow more parents in northwestern B.C. the option to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities, announced the Ministry of Children and Family Development on May 19.
The Haisla First Nation is building a youth centre that will include 53 new licensed child care spaces for school-age children. The child care centre will work closely with the Haisla Health Centre to bring dental, hygiene, safe practices and counselling to children and families. The centre is expected to open by the end of the year.
The province is investing in more than 225 new licensed child care spaces, 167 of which are slated to open by the end of the year.
“We are delivering on more child care spaces here in the North so families can live full and balanced lives,” Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast, said. “As a parent, I understand how access to child care spaces is a game-changer for families.”
A total of 226 spaces will be supported in four other projects additional to the 53 space Kitimat project, with 45 spaces in Prince Rupert, 51 in Kitwanga, 59 in Smithers, and 18 in Terrace. In addition, three projects have also received funding in these communities since the launch of Childcare BC in July 2018.
“As we enter the fourth year of our 10-year Childcare BC plan, thousands of families are already feeling the life-changing impact of having affordable, quality, and inclusive child care,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “As we continue to build toward an inclusive, universal child care system, these new spaces will make it easier for parents, especially mothers, to pursue their own goals, while being part of B.C.’s economic recovery.”
“The Province has funded almost 26,000 new licensed spaces since the launch of Childcare BC – more than 6,000 of which are now open.
An additional 4,370 spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, take the total number of new child care spaces funded since July 2017 to more than 29,300.
Since July 2018, almost 26,000 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in British Columbia, including 120 in Kitimat, 171 in Smithers, and 136 in Terrace.”
– With files from K-J Millar