Sea to Sky Community Services Society (SSCS) has announced its child care centre in Brackendale has converted to a $10 per day program.
In a news release sent out Friday, SSCS said the program transitioned to $10 per day at the start of the new year.
“Limited access to affordable child care is a barrier to employment for families in our community, which further impacts their ability to meet the rising cost of living,” said the society's executive director Jaye Russell, in the release.
“This announcement comes at a welcome and crucial time for families who are really feeling the pinch of rising inflation, high housing costs and limited access to affordable child care.”
Squamish has been in the midst of a childcare crisis for years, with some parents moving away mostly due to the lack of appropriate care, and the District of Squamish stating on its website, ”quality, accessible and affordable child care is vital to a healthy community and prosperous economy. Currently available child care space is severely limited.”
The Brackendale child care program is located at Brackendale Elementary School. With this program lowering its costs, now 180 of the 200 spaces SSCS maintains cost $10 per day.
SSCS estimates the move could save families up to $500 monthly, if they have full-time care.
“While this centre is currently at capacity, Sea to Sky Community Services does maintain a waitlist, at no cost, for families wishing to access the program,” the release states.
This program is part of the provincial government’s 10-year ChildCareBC plan to provide access to affordable care for more families throughout B.C.
“The province is working with the federal government through the Canada-British Columbia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care agreement to fund an additional number of existing licensed child care providers through the $10-a-Day ChildCareBC Program,” the release states.
“Our government is focused on making high-quality, affordable and inclusive child care a reality for families across the country, including here in British Columbia,” said Sea to Sky MP Patrick Weiler, in the release. “Child care fees have already been reduced by half across B.C. ... With the cost of living being top of mind for many families, affordable child care is providing welcome relief while ensuring children get high-quality and inclusive care.”
Families at the Brackendale program are automatically enrolled for $10 per day.
Full-time fees are capped at $200 per month.
The SSCS release said further support may be available to reduce costs through the Affordable Child Care Benefit, which delivers monthly payments to a service provider if the family is deemed eligible. SSCS can help families navigate this program.
Additionally, SSCS announced that it is taking part in B.C.’s Early Childhood Education Wage Enhancement program, which provides $2,000 or $3,000 grants to educators with certain post-basic certificates as an infant and toddler educator or special needs educator.
“These steps help us position early childhood education as a more attractive career choice for professionals who provide an essential service in the early years of childhood development,” said Cheryl Simpson, the manager of child care services with SSCS, in the release.
For more information about these programs, please visit sscs.ca.