B.C. has added more than 30,000 new child care spaces in the past four years, and expects to roughly double that again within the next two years, provincial and federal politicians announced in Langley on Monday, May 2.
The announcement was made outside Langley City’s Cookie Monster Preschool at the Douglas Park Recreation Centre, one of two local childcare centres getting more funding for additional care spaces.
Local parent Heather Gillard, whose daughter now attends Cookie Monster, said she started working as a nanny when her daughter was young, in part because of the difficulty finding child care herself.
Long wait lists have forced parents to seek out other, often more expensive, sources of childcare, she said.
Gillard also said daycare can benefit the children themselves, giving them socialization and confidence.
“She has learned to overcome her fear of new experiences, in large part because of the care and support of her teacher, and her classmates,” Gillard said.
Cookie Monster will get 72 new spaces, and another centre in Aldergrove will get 74 more spaces funded through the ChildCareBC program.
In total, more than 30,500 new child care spaces have been funded through the program across the province since 2018.
The latest round of new funding, with $84 million from Victoria and $35 million from Ottawa, is creating 3,587 new licensed child care spaces.
Also at Monday’s announcement was Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.
“Child care’s not just a social policy, it’s an economic imperative,” she said.
She noted that the number of new childcare spaces in B.C. is expected to continue increasing, and to more than double from the current funded level by 2028.
By March, 2026, there are planned to be 60,000 new spaces, and that’s expected to increase to 70,000 by March 2028.
Katrina Chen, B.C.’s Minister of State for Child Care, noted that the province has also been increasing training, bursary, and educational spaces for early childhood educators, to increase the number of workers in the sector as the number of $10 and $20 a day care spaces increases.
“Child care used to be treated as a luxury,” said Chen.
Chen said that although 35,500 spaces have been unded, about a third are currently operation, and half are expected to be in operation by the end of the year.
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