Universal child care was promised by the B.C. NDP government in the 2017 election. (Wikimedia Commons)

B.C. starting universal daycare pilot program

Free for low-income, ‘less than $10 a day’ for many others

The B.C. government is inviting licensed child care providers to sign up for a pilot program to begin its universal child care plan.

The pilot project is to “model” child care at a cost of $200 a month per child and use the results to plan an expanded program, says a statement released Friday by the provincial and federal governments.

“The new prototype sites, which will run from Sept. 1 2018 to March 31, 2020, will convert approximately 1,800 licensed child care spaces at existing facilities around the province into low-cost spaces for families,” says the statement from the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development and Employment and Social Development Canada.

“For eligible families with an annual pre-tax income of less than $45,000, child care will be free at these facilities through the new Affordable Child Care Benefit, which will officially roll out in September 2018. Families with a pre-tax income under $111,000 will pay less than $10 a day.”

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James introduced the government’s first step in subsidized child care in her February budget, funding licensed child care spaces to reduce parents’ fees up to $350 per month.

The pilot program will give priority to Indigenous parents and children, immigrants, parents under 25, francophone families, parents who work shift work or extended hours. Another priority group is described as “families with children who have diverse/extra support needs and/or require inclusive child care spaces.”

RELATED: B.C. Greens object to $10 daycare fee

Webinars are being offered for licensed child care providers eligible to apply.

The 1,800 spaces planned for the pilot program is the same number as the construction of new spaces announced by the previous B.C. Liberal government in 2016.

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 was provided to three projects in Duncan and one each in Nanaimo, Victoria, Comox, Port Hardy and Tofino.

In the B.C. Interior, three projects were approved for Kelowna, two in Penticton, and one each in Naramata, Castlegar, Cranbrook, Enderby, Princeton, Houston, Kamloops, Merritt, Vanderhoof and Dawson Creek.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Evacuation alert boundaries reduced for communities north of Quesnel

Communities west of the Fraser River remain on alert, including Nazko, Baker Creek and Blackwater.

Rebuild of fire-damaged Lakeview mill aiming for full-production by Feb. 2019

The company said it hopes to resume full production by February 2019.

Update on wildfires in the Cariboo, Aug. 14

Progress made on fires of note in the region

Beaulne appointed vice-principal of Lake City Secondary School

School District 27 has announced Kristina Beaulne has been appointed vice-principal of LCSS

Evacuation alert lifted for 57 properties in Houseman Road area

The Houseman wildfire is now considered being held and is 100 per cent contained

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read