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Child care advocates welcome new BC funding plan

A lack of licensed child care could be alleviated by the provincial government’s announcement they will be investing $12.5 million in major capital funding for the creation of new spaces.

“Provincial capital funding has been frozen since the cancellation of the Federal Early Learning and Care agreement earlier this year,” said Linda Chell, executive director of the Revelstoke Childcare Society. “We are optimistic that this is a step in recognizing that spaces are required in our province.”

In a prepared release, Linda Reid, Minister of State for Child Care said the goal is to create 2000 additional child care spaces throughout the province by 2010.

“By expanding the capital program and supporting child care providers to create much needed spaces, we are, in turn, increasing our options for families and, at the end of the day, supporting children and their families is what this is all about,” she said.

Currently in Revelstoke there are six licensed family day cares, 10 licensed not required day cares, three pre-schools and two licensed group centres.

Since the announcement was made last week, Chell has been in contact with three people in the community who are opening family child care centres.

“Potential funding for Family Child Care is $380 per space totalling a possible $2660 for the typical seven space facility,” said Chell.

“I am pleased that the announcement includes family care.”

However, the Child Care Society will not be receiving retroactive funding for the recently opened Stepping Stones, Too centre.

“Our expansion will not qualify as it was completed prior to the announcement,” said Chell.

The decision to go ahead with the expansion without government support was made as it was obvious more spaces were needed.

“The Revelstoke Child Care Society took a proactive approach to increasing our childcare spaces when room became available at the Farwell Building,” said Chell. “The society used a combination of their reserve funds and school district Early Learning Grant to fund the 20 new childcare spaces.”

The society’s next goal is to look at an infant/toddler group session.

MELISSA JAMESON

Times Review

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