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More families in Nanaimo-North Cowichan benefit from $10-a-day child care

Learn and Laugh Academy approval includes 40 spaces
Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley. (Photo submitted)

More families in Nanaimo-North Cowichan will benefit from 40 local child care spaces converting to the $10-a-day program.

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to pursue their education and career goals and child care costs shouldn’t be a barrier to that,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “Through fee reductions, we are already saving many families in Nanaimo-North Cowichan hundreds of dollars each month, and, for many, these savings have been life changing. I look forward to seeing more $10-a-day spaces in our community as we continue to move toward implementing a truly universal child care system in B.C.”

Spaces in the $10-a-day ChildCareBC program reduce the average cost of child care from $1,000 a month at participating facilities (for full-time, centre-based infant care) to $200 a month, saving families an average of $800 a month per child.

The program expansion represents further progress in partnership with the federal government under the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. To support the goal of ensuring access to high-quality, affordable and inclusive early learning and child care, the Government of Canada is contributing $3.2 billion for child care in B.C. over five years through the agreement.

“Our motto has always been ‘family first,’” said Malinda Buck, owner of Learn and Laugh Academy. “With the recent skyrocketing inflation, it made sense to us to take the next step for our families, so they can afford to live comfortably. It takes a village to raise a child and we are a part of that village.”

The approval at Learn and Laugh Academy child care centre in Ladysmith includes 20 spaces for children 2 1/2 years old to kindergarten age and 20 spaces for school-age children.

“The $10-a-day day care is a huge financial relief,” said Kelsey Burt, parent of two children at Learn and Laugh Academy. “Before I was hardly breaking even and now we are able to save some money.”

More $10-a-day spaces will be created over the next few months. By the end of the year, the program will expand the number of spaces available from 6,500 in April 2022 to approximately 12,500.