Families in the northwest could see some dramatic savings as 6 child care sites are welcomed into the $10 a day child care program. 348 new spaces throughout Kitimat, Kitimaat Village, Terrace and Smithers are part of this commitment.
For Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen this has been in the works for quite some time.
"In the north, we’ve been funding child care spaces in communities, on reserves and across the spectrum. You'll see the average rate has gone down to about $20-a-day right across the spectrum but we're getting to $10-a-day because new affordable child care can change a family's life."
At these sites, families will pay no more than $200 per month and per child for full enrollment during regular business hours. Cullen feels that this service will offer up more opportunities for family members to focus on their careers.
"We know for people who want to upgrade or go back to school themselves, one of the things that gets in the way is looking for affordable child care. You'll hear stories of people saying they couldn't afford it and had to drop out. A person's life can change with education so this is one of those keys that ends up unlocking so much more."
For budget 2022, more savings are on the way for all types of child care. By partnering with the Government of Canada through the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, $10 a Day ChildCareBC spaces will more than double again to 12,500 by December 2022.
Cullen stresses that community is key and the goal is to help pave the way for other provinces to initiate this program too.
"We're asking communities to step forward to see if we can find more spaces for training and to get more people in the system," he adds. "I'm really glad that other provinces are now starting to pick it up too because now it’s starting to show the way."
With new federal investments, the average rate of child care will be reduced by 50% from 2019 levels for children five and younger by the end of this year.