Child care is getting less expensive and easier to find in Vancouver as the Province invests in 250 new, affordable child care spaces to give more parents the option to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.
“With spaces in short supply, too many parents in Vancouver have been left relying on friends or family for their child care needs,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “We know that space is at a premium, but we’re seeing innovative projects bringing child care to schools, campuses and neighbourhoods across the city, strengthening communities and making life easier for busy parents.”
The majority of these new spaces are expected to open in the next six months, with hundreds more to come thanks to a recent memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the City of Vancouver and the Province.
More than 3,000 new, affordable licensed child care spaces in Vancouver have been funded by the Province since the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund launched in July 2018. This includes more than 2,300 new spaces that are coming as part of a MOU signed by the Province and the City of Vancouver in July 2019. They are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history, with more than 10,400 funded in the past 15 months.
With the addition of 900 spaces funded through partnerships with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and Aboriginal Head Start using federal funding, and 4,100 spaces created through the 2017 Budget Update, more than 15,400 spaces have been funded in B.C. This brings the total spaces funded in Vancouver in the past two years to more than 3,400.
Since launching in February 2018, the Childcare BC plan has helped parents in the region save more than $30 million through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative. As a result of these investments, the living wage for parents in Vancouver has dropped to $19.50 per hour this year – the first major reduction in more than 10 years.
Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.