The British Columbia government is expanding measures to lower the cost of child care by introducing fee reductions for preschool and school-aged children.
Premier David Eby says families with children in eligible half-day preschool, as well as before- and after-school programs, could save an additional $145 per month, per child, as the program gets underway in September.
A joint statement from Eby’s office and the Ministry of Education and Child Care says the province is providing the funding directly to participating childcare centres so families do not need to apply to see the savings.
It says the latest measure is in addition to savings of as much as $900 per month, per child, which families with kids who are kindergarten-aged or younger have been receiving since last December with support from the B.C. and federal governments.
Eby was in Richmond, B.C., to make the announcement, where he told the press conference that 43,000 kids and their families could benefit from new funding.
Grace Lore, minister of state for child care, says more than 95 per cent of licensed providers are participating in the government’s affordability programs.
Access to affordable child care is one of the reasons why B.C.’s unemployment rate is among the lowest in Canada, she told media Thursday, saying three-quarters of the province’s job growth last year was driven by women’s employment.
Lore adds that having child care on school grounds “just makes sense” for families and children and B.C. is prioritizing those options as it builds and replaces schools.