**From the BC Government Website**
**Originally published Dec 19, 2020**
Families in the Tla’amin Nation will soon have access to 151 new licensed child care spaces as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to increasing child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“Access to culturally safe child care is important for ensuring that children can grow up immersed in their culture, language and traditions,” said Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River-Sunshine Coast. “Along with language and traditional plant and medicine programming, the two new centres in the Tla’amin Nation will offer a meal program to support children and families.”
The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund is supporting the Tla’amin Nation to create two new child care centres, both of which are expected to open in December 2021. The Tla’amin Child Development Resource Centre will offer 75 spaces, including 24 infant/toddler spaces, 17 spaces for children aged three to five years, four preschool spaces and 30 spaces for children up to the age of 12. These are in addition to 72 spaces the centre currently offers. The fieldhouse will offer 76 spaces for children up to the age of 12.
The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund has provided funding for an average of 700 new licensed spaces each month. So far, more than 20,000 new spaces have been funded throughout the province, helping parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities to help support their families.
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 24,500 new licensed spaces have been funded since July 2017.
Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care –
“By working in partnership with local municipalities, Indigenous governments, non-profits, school districts and other partners, we are creating child care spaces that meet the unique needs of communities across our province. Together, we are getting closer to our goal of giving B.C. families the quality, affordable child care they deserve.”
Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development –
“Supporting high-quality, inclusive child care is one way we’re helping children build the foundation they need for happy and healthy lives. These new child care spaces, together with Aboriginal Supported Child Development programs, create an important learning environment that supports children in their development and education, as well as their cultural identity.”
Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –
“Every child deserves the opportunity to learn and grow surrounded by their community and culture. Bringing affordable, quality and culturally relevant child care into Indigenous communities will support thriving children and families for generations to come.”
Losa Luaifoa, executive councillor, Community Services House Post Leader, Tla’amin Nation –
“The Tla’amin Nation is honoured to receive provincial funding for two facilities that will greatly support the young people of our community. The expanded Child Development Resource Centre will add much-needed child care spaces, outdoor nature-based play areas and a family drop-in centre. The new youth-focused project will be part of an integrated cultural facility where young people can harvest, cook and enjoy traditional foods; practice music and dance; learn language; and engage in sports, workouts and other outdoor activities.”
- As the Province moves towards its “new normal” under COVID-19, child care capital builds may have 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
For more information on child care in the Tla’amin Nation, visit the Aboriginal Child Care Resource and Referral Program: https://www.acc-society.bc.ca/services/aboriginal-child-care-resource-and-referral-program/