New licensed child care spaces in the CRD announced Tuesday by Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. (Keri Coles/Black Press Media)

439 new licensed child care spaces for Greater Victoria

$4.6 million in funding for Victoria spaces comes through Childcare BC New Spaces Fund

More than 400 new childcare spaces have been announced for Greater Victoria.

The Greater Victoria School District is partnering with non-profit organizations to provide 439 new child care spaces at elementary schools across the city, by way of a $4.6 million provincial investment through the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund.

“Too many parents have been struggling to find child care in Victoria; hundreds of families are stuck on wait-lists and it can take years to secure a spot for your child. I am so happy to see additional child care spaces coming to Victoria, it will make a lasting difference for children and parents in our community,” said Carole James, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill.

In July, the provincial government announced the $237 million Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to create 22,000 new licensed child care spaces across the province over the next three years. Victoria is the first to benefit from the commitment.

“We are just so proud to be leading the way and being innovators in terms of partnering with the provincial government to make sure we create accessible, quality child care in our schools,” said Jordan Watters, chair, Greater Victoria School Board.

The new child care spaces will be co-located at six elementary schools in Victoria – Doncaster, Frank Hobbs, Macaulay, Tillicum, Victoria West and Willows.

“By offering child care in a school setting, families get the added benefit that their children can ease into the school environment and will feel more comfortable when they transition into kindergarten,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development.

Mayor Lisa Helps said the City of Victoria has been collaborating with SD61 and other community partners over the past 18 months through the Childcare Solutions Working Group.

“We put forward Vic West as a pilot project and are thrilled to see it funded,” said Helps.

RELATED: Vic West to host childcare expansion pilot project

RELATED: B.C. starting universal daycare pilot program

Several non-profit organizations will offer wraparound services at the new facilities, including counselling, healthy food and clothing to support vulnerable families, as well as programming for francophone families and those who are new to Canada.

Under the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, school boards applying for funding to partner with non-profit organizations to offer new licensed child care spaces are eligible for up to $1 million per facility under the public-sector partnership funding stream.

More new spaces will be announced for communities throughout B.C. in the coming weeks as more projects are approved.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

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