ABBOTSFORD – As part of Child Care Month in B.C., the B.C. government is investing a combined $313,976.92 under the B.C. Early Years Strategy to create 105 new licensed childcare spaces for families in Abbotsford.
Two projects have been approved in Abbotsford. The New Leaf Childcare Centre located at 33442 South Fraser Way is receiving $250,000 for 48 spaces which includes:
· 24 centre-based group childcare spaces for children from birth to 36 months (infants and toddlers); and
· 24 centre-based group childcare spaces for children ages 3 to 5.
“I believe that every child should get the best early childhood care and education possible for they are our future. I love working with children and believe that children thrive and shine at their best when they are provided with opportunities and an environment where they can explore, experiment and enjoy,” New Leaf Childcare centre Kamal Preet Kaur said. “I presently own and operate a childcare centre and have always worked hard to not just meet, but exceed the expectations of families I work with. I sincerely appreciate the help from the government in creating more quality childcare spaces for our community.”
Little Wonders Montessori Childcare & Preschool, located at 33911 Hazelwood Ave., is receiving $63,976.92 for 57 spaces which includes:
· 12 centre-based group childcare for children up to 36 months (infants and toddlers);
· 23 centre-based group childcare for children ages 3 to 5; and
· 22 childcare spaces in a group setting outside school hours and on non-school days.
“We are very grateful for this opportunity and for the support and funding from the B.C. Government. Little Wonders Montessori will be using the funding to open our third location in partnership with Calvin Presbyterian Church to create a Christian-based Montessori Program,” said owner Kristie Poole. “At Little Wonders Montessori Childcare & Preschool Ltd., we are dedicated to providing highly qualified teachers, a fun, social and stimulating academic programs, and a creative Montessori environment to help each child develop to the maximum potential.”
In November 2015, the Province encouraged childcare providers to apply for the third phase of major capital funding to create new licensed childcare spaces throughout B.C. These new spaces are part of government’s commitment to support the creation of 13,000 new spaces by 2020.
“We have an ongoing demand for childcare spaces throughout the province and these investments in our community will help ease that pressure,” Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas said. “Childcare is an essential service and these new spaces will support families.”
“This funding is another step as part of our commitment to create 13,000 new licensed childcare spaces by 2020,” Abbotsford-Mission MLA Simon Gibson said. “Childcare centres are such an important part of our community as children learn valuable skills as they transition to school.”
This investment marks the third phase of childcare major capital funding, and will allow childcare providers to:
· Build a new childcare facility, including the cost of buying land or a building.
· Purchase and assemble a modular building and develop a site.
· Renovate an existing building.
· Buy eligible equipment (including playground equipment) and furnishings as part of the above activities to support new childcare spaces in an existing facility.
The Province is now in the process of working with childcare providers to sign project agreements that include the specific requirements that providers have identified for each site, such as the need to lease or buy property, obtain local zoning permits and hire contractors to renovate the sites. In the case of New Leaf Childcare Centre, construction on the new childcare spaces is expected to begin July 1, 2016 with the centre to be open by Jan. 1, 2017. Little Wonders Montessori Childcare & Preschool is expected to begin construction within a couple weeks and are planning to be open for Sept. 1, 2016.
The BC Early Years Strategy is an eight-year government commitment to improve the accessibility, affordability and quality of early-years programs and services for families with young children.
For more information about childcare in B.C. please visit www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare