Thirty-six child care spaces at Shuswap Day Care are now part of the B.C. government’s $10-a-day program. (Lachlan Labere–Salmon Arm Observer)

Thirty-six child care spaces at Shuswap Day Care are now part of the B.C. government’s $10-a-day program. (Lachlan Labere–Salmon Arm Observer)

$10-a-day child-care program comes to Salmon Arm day care

Additional funding to reduce cost of child care expected in December

A Salmon Arm day care and its parent community are thrilled to now be part of the province’s $10-a-day program.

This month, 36 spaces at Shuswap Day Care have transitioned to the program, reducing the average cost of full-time child care from around $1,000 a month to $200 a month per child.

“I am ecstatic to communicate with our families that we were successful in our application to become a $10-a-day child-care facility,” commented Shuswap Day Care manager Karen Bubola in an Oct. 3 media release by the Ministry of Education and Child Care. “I have been in the field for over 30 years and have advocated for financial support for families seeking child care and for the Early Childhood Educators to make a fair wage for the valuable and important work we do. The $10-a-day financial support from the government will be able to assist our society in addressing both of these concerns.”

Twelve spaces for ages 3-5, and 24 spaces for children ages 3 and under at Shuswap Day Care are now part of the program.

Bubola told the Observer some parents were in tears when they learned the daycare was approved to become part of the $10-a-day program.

“The $10-a-day care for my child is extremely impactful for my family,” said parent Rhiianna Elliot. “It’s extra trips to the grocery store and comfort in ensuring our housing and utilities are covered, while also leaving wiggle room to do extra activities as a family.

“With inflation and everything working against us right now, it’s an absolute blessing to have something come back in such a way that helps us financially, but, even more, ensures my babies have the best care and learning opportunities that Shuswap Day Care Centre provides. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”

As of Oct. 4, Shuswap Day Care was the only child-care centre in the Shuswap that is part of the $10-a-day program. However, Bubola noted funding is coming from the province in December that could cut child-care costs by as much as $550 per child, per month, for families accessing care at participating licensed child-care centres.

Read more: B.C. government shifting funds to public, non-profit child care

Read more: Many more child-care spaces needed in Salmon Arm to meet targets

In a separate media release, the ministry announced the province will be directly funding licensed child-care centres, so families will not need to apply for the savings. The funding will lower fees for children kindergarten-aged and younger.

“In addition to these fee reductions, the province has been making further progress toward all families being able to access affordable child care by introducing the Affordable Child Care Benefit and by transforming child care centres into $10 a Day ChildCareBC sites,” reads the release.

According to the province, by the end of 2022, there will be 12,500 $10-a-day child-care spaces throughout B.C.

There are, however, still challenges to be addressed. Bubola said one of them, at least in Salmon Arm, is the need for more childcare spaces.

“We have a huge wait list and all that,” said Bubola. “It’s helping families but it’s still not addressing, the issue that everybody in town is facing. There’s just no spaces for childcare.”

Another challenge is the need for more early childhood educators (ECE).

“A lot of new spaces have been created in the province, but now they’re struggling to find qualified ECEs to offer the programs,” said Bubola.

For more information on the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative, including participating providers, visit www.gov.bc.ca/savemoney-childcare. For more information on $10-a-day child care sites and spaces, visit www.gov.bc.ca/childcare10aDaysites.


lachlan@saobserver.net
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