B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming colours with some kids at the recently opened Arbutus Grove Children’s Studio. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff).

B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming colours with some kids at the recently opened Arbutus Grove Children’s Studio. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff).

Province adds 260 more childcare spaces in Greater Victoria

144 spaces will be located at elementary schools

The provincial government will add 260 more childcare spaces in the Capital Region, ranging from daycare to after school care.

Of the spaces, 144 will be located at three elementary schools: Braefoot Elementary, Lampson Elementary and Oaklands Elementary. The other 116 will be at the Oasis Day Care, Little Wild early Learning and Maple Tree Children’s Centre.

“I’m proud to be part of a government that is investing in child care spaces on school grounds so parents can access high-quality child care they can rely upon in one convenient location,” said BC Education Minister Rob Fleming. “Our government and school districts are working together, so children in early childhood education programs can ease into the school environment and feel familiar and comfortable when they transition into kindergarten.”

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Of these spots, Fleming promised some will be part of the $10 per day childcare pilot, which the province hopes to extend beyond March 2021. Exact numbers of how many spots would be within this pilot were not available. Fleming did add, however, that more spaces are also coming down the line.

“We’ve been building at a rate of 170 [spaces] per month, so for the next six months we’ll be increasing this to 300 spaces per month in BC, so we plan to basically double the amount of spaces we’ve created in six months time. “

Lampson will be the first to open in early 2020, followed by Oaklands in August 2021 and Braefoot in October 2021.

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For mother of two Kathy Dyer, whose two children attend the recently-opened Arbutus Grove Children’s Studio at Frank Hobbs Elementary, having the option of dropping off and picking up her children at one location has made a huge difference.

“Many of us struggle to balance work and the hour demands with young families,” she said. “It means the world to be able to drop them off at one spot and pick them up at the same spot. Talk about a game changer.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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Childcare