Duncan’s Parkside Academy chosen for universal day-care pilot project

Duncan’s Parkside Academy chosen for universal day-care pilot project

One of first to offer $10-per-day child care

Kelly Hall and Xituluq Hwitsum are delighted that Parkside Academy’s Somenos School site, a not-for-profit child-care centre in Duncan, has been chosen as a Universal Child Care Prototype Site.

As a result, the couple, parents of a two-year-old son named Chase, said their monthly daycare fees have been dramatically reduced, from paying a rate of $925 to just $200 per month.

Chase has been attending Parkside Academy since he was six months old and his parents are proud to say that the daycare has provided a quality learning environment for him since he was first enrolled.

“Parkside has been able to give us piece of mind while being away from him throughout the day so that we can attend work,” they said in a press release.

“As parents, having our monthly fees dramatically reduced has been an incredible incentive which has enabled us to be able to afford quality child care for Chase to receive the best possible start (in life).”

Providing $10-per-day child-care spaces across the province had been one of the NDP government’s major election promises.

RELATED STORY: B.C. STARTING UNIVERSAL DAYCARE PILOT PROGRAM

The prototype plan to make it a reality was announced in November and includes spaces for about 2,500 children at 53 child-care facilities, including Parkside Academy, in both rural and urban areas around the province.

All were expected to be in operation by Dec. 1, and cost parents and guardians a maximum of $200 a month per child.

And if families are able to access the Affordable Childcare Benefit program, they can receive free childcare services.

RELATED STORY: PARENTS CAN NOW APPLY FOR B.C.’S CHILD CARE BENEFIT

“This project takes a major step towards universal child care in British Columbia,” said B.C.’s Minister of Children and Family Development, Katrine Conroy, in a statement.

To balance operational costs, the facilities will receive funding from the government, which has allocated $60 million for the project.

The chosen sites will operate until March 31, 2020, and are required to provide the government with feedback on the program to prepare for an eventual province-wide rollout.

Founded in 2005, Parkside Academy is the only not-for-profit group child care centre in North Cowichan, providing daycare services to more than 100 children up to 12 years of age.

Sue Plester, president of the Parkside Academy Society, said she is excited by the opportunity for the organization to continue to demonstrate leadership in the community, and to inform government on what works, what needs improvement, and what effects this model will have on children, families and the community.

She said the Parkside community will work diligently and mindfully in hopes that universal childcare will be implemented throughout B.C.

“We take pride in the fact that we can be a voice for all early childhood educators and care providers of children,” Plester said.

“We will continue to advocate for the continuation of this plan, which includes higher education for field workers, and quality, inclusive programs that honour our First Nations community and contribute towards reconciliation, all while co-creating a system in which early childhood education and educators are supported and recognized.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Duncan’s City Hall will get a seismic assessment this year. (File photo)
Duncan City Hall to get seismic assessment

City hopes grants will help pay for seismic upgrades

Vandals damaged a picnic table at Spectacle Lake Park with a chainsaw earlier this month. (Linda Mills photo)
Editorial: Vandals make victims of us all

It is infuriating when people target public property for vandalism.

Vees' Jack Barnes picked up his second goal of the season in the team's 5-0 win over Merritt on Saturday. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Cowichan Capitals in deadline dilemma with 20-year-old players

Hard decisions loom when BCHL may or may not resume play

The latest homeless count in the Valley found 129 in a 24-hour period. (File photo)
Latest homeless count reveals 129 in the Cowichan Valley

But local officials believe number is higher

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
Island-raised musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah closes out the movie

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

A battery electric-hybrid ferry, pictured here, is expected to make its way to Vancouver Island in late 2021, says B.C. Ferries. (Submitted photo)
Hybrid ferry for Gabriola-Nanaimo route launches in shipyard in Europe

Two hybrid vessels to replace MV Quinsam by early 2022, says B.C. Ferries

The Pacheedaht First Nation is planning a $1-million expansion to its campground in Port Renfrew. (Pixabay photo)
Expanded camping announced for Pacheedaht Campground

$1-million project is part of the B.C. Rural Economic Recovery program

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lease ‘important first step’ in $105-million Nanaimo port expansion project

Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement for Duke Point

A BC Ferries worker out of Swartz Bay has tested positive for COVID-19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Swartz Bay ferry worker confirmed to have COVID-19

Employees in direct contact with worker now isolating

Most Read