Affordable childcare was a popular topic among the NDP’s campaign platform ahead of May’s election.
Today, four months into the legislature, the provincial government’s Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) rolled out a new $33 million plan for more than 3,800 new childcare spaces in 52 communities.
The Duchess Early Learning Centre (DELC) is one of those recipients, and owner Correen Blishen says this is an answer to her prayers.
“Because we’re a bilingual day-care centre, the need for child-care is in high demand. We do have a waiting list already for our pre-school and after-school care that is in French and English. So this will be a big help for sure.”
She says she’s hopeful the funding will reduce that wait-list and expand the DELC facility significantly, so parents can have another enrolment option.
However Blishen believes employee support should also be considered when adding spaces.
“What we’ve noticed in the childcare field is that there’s a high turnover rate because workers can’t afford to keep working at such a low paying job. So our whole programming is ‘Yes, we’re going to invest in our employees and support them when we can, as well as the parents and their children.”
She adds BC could hold higher standards in terms of early education compared to other countries around the world.
DELC will be able to add 40 new childcare spaces.
The picture below provides a breakdown of other facilities in Prince George receiving this boost.