On Friday the B.C. provincial government announced funding for 2,450 more $10-per-day daycare spaces in the province, including 56 in Prince George.
The Prince George Montessori Education Society received funding for 16 $10-per-day spaces as the Montessori Early Learning Centre, located at 7005 Gladstone Dr. The spaces will be for children ages 2.5 years to Kindergarten.
The society also received funding for 40 spaces at the Montessori Child Care Centre, located at 1448 Fifth Ave. Of those spaces, 22 will be for children aged 2.5 years to Kindergarten, and 18 for school-age children.
"We doubled the number of $10-a-day spaces earlier this year and continue our work to nearly double yet again by the end of 2022, with more than 2,450 spaces added this month alone," said Katrina Chen, B.C. minister of state for child care. "Affordable child care can be life changing, and we're one step closer to making that a reality for all families in B.C."
The new $10-per-day rate comes in effect this month.
The announcement doubles the number of childcare centres in the city offering $10-per-day care. As of November, there were 15 $10-per-day daycare centres with a combined 530 spaces in the Northern Health region, including two in Prince George operated by the YMCA of Northern B.C.
In addition to the two centres in Prince George, the province also announced $10-per-day funding for the 52 spaces at the Ark Playday Centre in Telkwa and 41 spaces at the YMCA Tumbler Ridge Care and Learning Centre in Tumbler Ridge.
In addition to the new $10 per day spaces, the provincial government, with federal financial support, will help approximately 69,000 B.C. families who are not part of the $10 per day program.
Starting on Dec. 1, child care fee reductions of up to $550 per per child month will come into effect. These savings are in addition to the $350 per month per child that families have been saving through the province’s Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative since 2018.
Families making up to $111,000 per year may be eligible to receive additional child care support through the Affordable Child Care Benefit. Families making under $45,000 per year receive the maximum benefit and pay nothing for child care.
Friday’s announcement comes a month after the province announced the creation of 1,370 new $10-per-day daycare spaces in November, none of which were in northern B.C.
The provincial government will continue to review applications and provide funding for $10-per-day daycare centres until the target of creating 12,500 spaces is met.