Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen was at the Khalsa Childcare Centre on Wednesday (Jan. 30) to announce funding for more than 150 new licensed child-care spaces. (Photo: Photo: Twitter @KatrinaCBurnaby)

Province gives $1.25 million to open more than 150 new Surrey child-care spaces

Funding will help five organizations to create spaces at seven facilities

The provincial government announced Wednesday (Jan. 30) that it would be investing $1.25 million toward more than 150 new licensed child-care spaces in Surrey.

Five organizations — Creative Moments Child Care, Hope Valley Childcare Centre, Pebble Lane Early Learning, Satnam Education Society of British Columbia and Simply Kids Childcare Centre — are receiving the funding to help create 156 new licensed child-care spaces at seven Surrey facilities, according to a news release from the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Of the 156 new spaces, the release reads, 90 are for infants and toddlers, 58 are for children aged 30 months to school age, two are preschool spaces and six are spaces for school-aged children. The release also said that four of the projects will expand existing locations, while three will create new child-care facilities.

“Surrey is one of the fastest-growing cities in the province, and there are not enough child care spaces to keep up with demand,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Building more infant and toddler spaces is a priority under Childcare BC. This investment will create 90 of them in Surrey, as well as more than 60 spaces for other age groups, giving more families access to the quality care that they need.”

According to the release, “Many of the organizations will offer additional wraparound services to parents, including assistance for families who are new to Canada, as well as providing supports to low-income families.”

Several facilities, according to the release, will also offer accessible child care for children with extra-support needs, as well as teach children about Indigenous culture through activities such as storytelling, music and dance.

Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston said this investment in “new, high-quality child-care spaces” is good for families and the local economy.

“Parents have been struggling to find quality, affordable child care for far too long, and that is especially true in Surrey,” Ralston said.

Under the new Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, child-care providers can apply at any time throughout the year under a new continuous application process, reads the release.

More than 1,600 new licensed child-care spaces have been approved for funding since the program launched in July of 2018. Through the Childcare BC Start-Up Grant program, more than 400 licensed spaces have been created.

The $221-million fund, according to the release, will create about 22,000 new licensed child-care spaces over the next three years. The initiative is part of the B.C. government’s Childcare BC plan and “supports its commitment to give B.C. families access to affordable, quality child care throughout the province.”

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