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

Alaska ferry service may have to pay armed RCMP at Prince Rupert terminal

Without armed police at inspections, the port faces closure

Prince Rupert to send a high school golf team to provincials

For the first time in more than six years, Charles Hays Secondary School has a golf club

Rock Stock 2019: “It’s going to be better than last year”

For some young musicians this will be their eighth year performing at Rock Stock in Prince Rupert

First ever Indigenous Symposium educates teachers in Prince Rupert

Cedar weaving, drumming for reconciliation and basic Sm’algyax lessons were offered to educators

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read