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Families in B.C. getting ahead as child care fees are reduced

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:37 PST, Fri December 2, 2022

Last Updated: 3:08 PST, Thu December 15, 2022

Investments in child care continue to save money for families throughout British Columbia by putting money back into the pockets of parents and making life more affordable as child care fee reductions take effect.

"At a time when global inflation is driving up the cost of so many essentials, child care fees are going down in B.C.," said Premier David Eby. "That's because we chose to invest in children and families. Expanding access to high-quality, affordable child care opens up access to opportunity—and is key to making sure we have the skilled workforce we need to keep our communities running."

The ChildCareBC plan, launched in 2018, began as a vision of uniting a patchwork of programs and services, and addressing skyrocketing fees that were increasingly putting child care out of reach for many families, and to build child care as a core service that families can depend upon. Through historic investments at the provincial level and a partnership with the federal government, child care in B.C. is more affordable, accessible, and higher quality.

"As of yesterday, we cut child care fees in half on average across British Columbia—saving families up to an additional $550 a month per child," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "Our plan to make life more affordable is delivering concrete results for parents who are struggling with the rising cost of living and ensuring every child can get the best possible start in life. We're going to continue to be there for people as we work toward delivering $10-a-day child care across the country and build an economy that works for all Canadians."

Increased reductions in child care fees of up to $550 more per child per month took effect yesterday (Dec. 1), and are helping about 69,000 families with the cost of child care. This is in addition to the savings of up to $350 per month per child that were introduced in 2018, which participating child care providers were already passing on to families.

"As parents of three kids—a toddler, a preschooler, and a school-aged child—the reduction in fees is absolutely life changing," said Reut Dahan, a parent at Richmond Jewish Day School. "Thanks to this amazing program being implemented, our costs are now reduced by over $1,000 a month, allowing both of us to work full time and easing some of our financial stress. We have peace of mind knowing that our children are enjoying the benefits of safe and quality child care."

Additionally, with the most recent batch of more than 2,450 spaces that have moved into the $10 a Day ChildCareBC program as of Dec. 1, there are more than 10,500 $10 a Day spaces in B.C. Thousands more spaces are under negotiation and expected to be implemented in the coming weeks.

A number of Richmond facilities are among the 61 across B.C. with new $10 a Day ChildCareBC spaces: Baby Steps Childcare Ltd. has 10 new infant-toddler spaces at Baby Steps Infant and Toddler Care, and the Developmental Disabilities Association of Vancouver-Richmond has 24 new spaces for those aged 2.5 years to kindergarten at Riverside Child Development Centre. 

The Society of Richmond Children’s Centres has four locations with new spaces:

• Bowling Green Road Children's Centre: 49 spaces (24 infant-toddler, 25 for those aged 2.5 years to kindergarten)

• Cranberry Children's Centre: 34 spaces (nine infant-toddler, 25 for those aged 2.5 years to kindergarten)

• Garden Children's Centre: 37 spaces (12 infant-toddler, 25 for those aged 2.5 years to kindergarten)

• Terra Nova Children's Centre: 25 spaces for those aged 2.5 years to kindergarten

"We are pleased to be entering the $10 a Day program for all six of our Richmond centres on behalf of our families," said Nicky Byres, executive director, Society of Richmond Children's Centres. "We know this move will be life changing for many, and we look forward to continuing to work with the government on all aspects of the child care system to support the success of $10 a Day plan."

The expansion of the $10 a Day program and the enhanced savings, which build on investments made as part of the province's $2.7-billion investment in ChildCareBC since 2018, are being funded through the 2021–22 to 2025–26 $3.2-billion Canada-British Columbia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.

"Richmond Jewish Day School provides families with quality, affordable childcare in an inclusive, licensed facility that honours and promotes Jewish culture and traditions," said Sabrina Bhojani, principal of Richmond Jewish Day School. "We are extremely grateful that the Government of B.C. has prioritized early learning and child care. In addition to setting up our students for a smooth and seamless transition into kindergarten, these investments in child care will have long-lasting, positive effects on the well-being of children and families in B.C."

In addition, the province continues to make investments for all families to access affordable child care through the Affordable Child Care Benefit. Families earning as much as $111,000 per year may be eligible for additional help with the cost of child care.

Since the launch of ChildCareBC, the provincial government, with support from the federal government, has also funded the creation of more than 30,500 new licensed child care spaces, with 10,500 spaces open and more than 20,000 more spaces in development or construction.

The province has also improved training and professional development opportunities and wages for the early childhood educators needed to deliver this important service.

For information about ChildCareBC, visit gov.bc.ca/childcare.

For information about the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, including participating providers and a fee-savings estimator, visit gov.bc.ca/savemoney-childcare.

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