**From the BC Government Website**
**Originally published July 27, 2020**
Families in Sechelt will have access to 67 new licensed child care spaces as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to increase child care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“By integrating new child care spaces with other family resources in our community, this new facility at the Sechelt Family Resource Centre will be able to support families with their child care needs and more,” said Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast. “We know that access to quality child care for families is important for a healthy, vibrant community overall. By supporting this centre, we are supporting a stronger Sunshine Coast.”
School District 46 (Sunshine Coast) and Sechelt YMCA Child Care are creating a new facility in the Sechelt Family Resource Centre, and will work with the with the Sechelt Nation and the Indigenous education team to provide inclusive and culturally enriched child care and resources to benefit local families.
“The board of education is committed to ensuring that each child and their family is supported and inspired to experience joy and fulfilment in our community and our schools,” said Pammila Ruth, board chair, School District 46 (Sunshine Coast). “We are so pleased that the Province is providing this funding to accomplish this important goal.”
Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund is supporting Sechelt YMCA Child Care to create 12 infant/toddler spaces, 25 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten and 30 spaces for school-age children, which are expected to open in summer 2021.
“School District No. 46 is pleased to provide a family resource centre with a multitude of services located under one roof right in the heart of Sechelt,” said Kirsten Deasey, district principal of learning and innovation. “Families can access drop-in programs, information and resources about child development, staff from partner agencies, and our family support navigators. The fact that families will soon be able to access on-site child care is perfect for our community.”
Recent changes made by government to the School Act will make it even easier for school boards to create and operate before- and after-school care. The changes will require school boards to prioritize space that is not being used for K-12 students for child care and encourage school boards to adopt an inclusive child care policy.
“For too long, families throughout B.C. have struggled to find quality, affordable child care close to home,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “We’re making it easier for child care to be delivered on school properties because children benefit when they spend more time in spaces that are already designed for enrichment and play, and families save time and money with one central drop-off location in their neighbourhoods.”
July 2020 marks the second anniversary of the launch of the New Spaces Fund, which has approved an average of 700 new spaces for funding each month. So far, nearly 16,800 new spaces have been funded throughout the province, helping parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.
“Providing quality, affordable and inclusive child care goes hand in hand with a strong, vibrant economy,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “By funding nearly 16,800 new licensed spaces throughout the province, our government is helping more parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities knowing that when they drop their kids off in the morning, they’ll get the nurturing support they need to grow and thrive.”
These new spaces are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history. An additional 4,100 spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, means that more than 20,900 new licensed spaces have been funded since July 2017.
Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- This investment means 99 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in Sechelt since July 2018.
- As the Province moves towards its “new normal” under COVID-19, child care capital builds may see unexpected delays.
- Once operational, child care providers will be required to follow guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control to keep staff and the families they serve safe and to limit the risk of transmission.
For information on health and safety standards for child care, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/ChildCareCovid-19Response
For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
To learn more about the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund
For more information on child care in Sechelt, visit the Sunshine Coast Child Care Resource and Referral centre: http://www.coastccrr.ca/
To find child care in your community, view the online child care map: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/
Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430
For more information on the Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcareprototypesites