The Peace region has gained 145 new licensed child care spaces.

B.C. announced Thursday that provincial and federal funding has allowed the creation of 279 new spaces across six child care providers in the north.

“Our government is creating new child care spaces in communities throughout B.C. to ensure child care is available when and where families need it,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education and Child Care.

“With some of the new child care spaces on school grounds, we’re able to better integrate child care into the broader learning environment so children can more easily transition from their early care programs into their school community.”

Northern Lights College’s campus daycare in Dawson Creek will now offer 48 new spaces, and Métis Nation British Columbia in Fort St. John has gained 61 new spaces.

The YMCA Chetwynd Care and Learning Centre at Northern Lights College will have 12 new spaces, while Cree-Ative Wonders in Saulteau First Nations will see 24 additional spaces. 

“For years, parents in B.C. were left with a patchwork system where child care was treated as a luxury. As we enter the fifth year of our 10-year ChildCareBC plan, we are making significant progress to reverse this,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care.

“We’ve been working to turn the corner by building new spaces, lowering fees and training the skilled professionals needed to offer quality child care as a core service available to every family that wants it at a price they can afford.”

According to the province, on top of the new spaces, 1,167 have been funded in Northern B.C. since the launch of ChildCareBC in July 2018, investing  $2.7 billion.

As a result of ChildCareBC investments, parents in Kitamaat/Skeena, Peace River South, Fort St. John/Peace River North, Prince George, and Quesnel have saved $8 million, $2 million, $4 million, $18 million and $5 million, respectively, said the province. 

Tre Lopushinsky is the News Director at Energeticcity.ca, and a NAIT broadcasting graduate. His love for local journalism started in Lloydminster, where he realized the importance of covering issues/topics for smaller municipalities. He is also the co-host of Before The Peace, highlighting Indigenous voices in the North Peace. In his off time, Tre is yelling at his tv while watching pro wrestling, MMA, and basketball.