Investments under the Early Years Strategy will see the BC government -- NO, BC TAXPAYERS -- funding 5,000+ new child-care and after-school program spaces, as well as early childhood educator (ECE) bursaries for 2017-18.
Based on feedback the government has received from the child-care community, the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) will be launching a new two-stage application process to support the creation of up to 4,100 licensed child-care spaces. Details on program information sessions, applications and criteria will be available online beginning on Wednesday (March 15th, 2017)
According to a BC government media release last week, non-profit child-care providers will be able to apply for up to half a million dollars in funding, and private child-care providers will be able to apply for up to a quarter million dollars in funding, to help build new child-care spaces in communities across the province.
The release went on to say that priority for these new spaces will be given to organizations that will:
- Create spaces for infants and toddlers, the type of spaces for which there is highest demand throughout the province.
- Create spaces on school grounds, where children can smoothly transition from early years programs, to the classroom, to after-school care.
- Create spaces that are co-located with other family-support programs in community-based settings, including BC Early Years Centres, recreation centres and family-resource programs.
Funding criteria has also been extended to applications for new spaces that:
- Create child-care spaces in Indigenous communities.
- Create spaces in the work place, where employers can support their employees by providing child-care resources on-site.
- Create child-care spaces in child development centres that support children with special needs.
The process for the one thousand before, and after, school recreation spaces will be opened separately, with details to come shortly.
In the government media release, Minister of Children and Family Development, Stephanie Cadieux, was quoted stating, “As we increase the number of child-care spaces in B, we need to ensure there are enough qualified Early Childhood Educators to work in these facilities. That’s why we’re investing in the ECE Bursary to help encourage new ECEs and increase the number of qualified staff who can work in the sector.”
Don't get me wrong, I am not critical of the child-care spaces being created -- get ready though for the avalanches of taxpayer paid for advertising, which will of course be self-congratulating and which will promote Christy Clarks' BC Liberal government, for this largesse.
In Kamloops ... I'm Alan Forseth