Municipalities and regional districts across B.C. now have access to nearly $17 million in funding to plan and build licensed child care spaces.
Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada’s minister of families, children and social development, said the funding will ensure more families and children have a chance to succeed in B.C.
The investment includes $13.7 million from the provincial and federal governments’ Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
That includes the first of two projects, which is the Community Child Care Space Creation Program.
It aims to create 1,370 new licensed child care spaces in B.C. with the primary focus being infant and toddler care.
Municipal and regional governments are eligible for up to $1 million per project through the program, with priority going to projects that build spaces to serve infants and toddlers.
Those that offer care outside of regular business hours, are operated by a public body or non-profit and those benefitting underserved populations will also be given priority.
"Local governments know their communities best and have strong relationships with public-sector organizations," said Katrine Conroy, B.C.'s minister of children and family development.
"This makes them uniquely able to create child care spaces where they are most needed in order to best meet the needs of their local families."
The second project will provide $3 million in provincial funding to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities for a grant program.
It will see local governments work with communities to identify their specific needs around child care spaces.
Local governments can apply to the UBCM for up to $25,000 from that program, which is targeted to communities wanting to create new child care spaces over the next decade.