The province is funding 328 new childcare spaces, including 61 in the Cowichan region. (Black Press files)

The province is funding 328 new childcare spaces, including 61 in the Cowichan region. (Black Press files)

Duncan families to benefit from new child care spaces

Bench Elementary, Cowichan Place Child Care Centre to receive funds

The Cowichan Valley will benefit from 61 new child care spaces by the end of the year thanks to new provincial investment in child care.

The spaces are part of 328 new licensed child care slots being supported by the province to serve Cowichan Bay, Duncan, and Victoria.

“Opening hundreds of new, affordable child care spaces, in addition to the thousands of spaces our government has already supported on the south Island, means more parents can focus on providing for their families while knowing their child is getting a great start in their early learning years,” said Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake.

In Cowichan Bay, 24 new licensed school-age spaces will be available by September 2021 in a newly renovated gym and multi-purpose classroom for Bench Elementary’s before and after school care program.

At Cowichan Place Child Care Centre in Duncan, 37 new spaces are being funded in the new facility which will have access to an Indigenous Language and Culture Centre and an Elder’s Room to incorporate Indigenous programming.

According to the province, the Hul’q’umi’num’ language will be taught at the facility and nutritious snacks and meals will be included. That facility is expected to be open by the end of the year and will include 12 spaces for infants and toddlers and 25 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten.

Since July 2018, almost 26,000 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in British Columbia, including 291 in Duncan, saving parents more than $10 million.

The Childcare BC plan has helped parents save up to $1,600 a month, per child, for a total of over $770 million through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.

“As we enter the fourth year of our 10-year Childcare BC plan, thousands of families are already feeling the life-changing impact of having affordable, quality and inclusive child care,” said Katrina Chen, minister of state for Child Care. “As we continue to build toward an inclusive, universal child care system, these new spaces will make it easier for parents, especially mothers, to pursue their own goals, while being part of B.C.’s economic recovery.”

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