More than 1,800 new child care spaces should be under construction by this fall, with the latest round of financing from the B.C. government.
New or expanded facilities in 30 communities have been selected from funding applications received in January, said Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux. The $11.3 million budget for this year is the third phase of a child care expansion project funded by the ministry.
The province’s goal is to have construction underway by September.
“It will vary somewhat from provider to provider, depending on whether they are building a facility from the ground up with this money, or whether they are adding to an existing facility,” Cadieux said.
Projects in the Lower Mainland include six sites in Surrey, two each in Abbotsford, Langley and Coquitlam and one each in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Burnaby, Delta and Squamish.
On Vancouver Island, funding goes to three projects in Duncan and one each in Nanaimo, Victoria, Comox, Port Hardy and Tofino.
In the B.C. Interior, three projects are approved for Kelowna, two in Penticton, and one each in Naramata, Castlegar, Cranbrook, Enderby, Princeton, Houston, Kamloops, Merritt, Vanderhoof and Dawson Creek.
For a full list of facilities and number of spaces, see backgrounder here.
The ministry has posted a new child care map on its website to help parents locate facilities here.
The province provides child care subsidies to qualified low-income parents, and covers about 15 per cent of daycare operating costs. But the cost of land and operations drives the price of child care up to $1,400 per month or more in urban areas. Cadieux said the province is working with municipalities to review regulations.
“We’re looking at the restrictions we put on child care providers in terms of outdoor space, in terms of sun access,” she said. “We want to make sure that child care is safe and that we have quality, but we also want to make sure that we’re not creating a situation that is unreasonable.”