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Province Integrating Child Care Options Into Schools – Includes Chilliwack

Fraser Valley/Victoria – The Province is moving forward with fully integrated before- and after-school care on school grounds.

This initiative will use existing school space as well as school district resources and staff to provide seamless care without additional pickups and dropoffs.

Three school districts have been selected for this initiative this fall: Chilliwack, Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Nechako Lakes. Early childhood educators and support staff in these school districts will provide learning and care for children in classrooms and school spaces the kids are familiar with. This means busy parents will have greater flexibility for school dropoff and pickup times, while also saving time spent commuting or juggling kids across multiple locations.

“Through ChildCareBC, we’re ensuring more families are able to access the child care they need because we know child care needs don’t stop when children start school,” said Mitzi Dean, Minister of State for Child Care. “Co-locating child care on school grounds helps ease children’s transition into school and is more convenient for busy parents.”

The ministry is providing more than $2 million over two years to the three school districts, which will create an estimated 180 new licensed child care spaces. This initiative will gather critical information to assist with future expansion of this model into other districts.

Willow Reichelt, Chilliwack Board Chair, School District 33 – “The Chilliwack School District is excited to participate in a two-year pilot to expand child care spaces on school grounds. This is aligned with our vision of providing a continuum of care that is inclusive, accessible, reliable and universal. The pilot funding will help support our goal of providing before- and after-school care in every Chilliwack elementary school by 2025 and will increase our district’s capacity to expand access to affordable, quality child care.”

“I’ve heard directly from parents how critical this is for families in our communities, and how important it is for the development of their children. This is such a great example of how we can meet the needs of child care professionals, parents and children together and I’m so happy that families right here in Chilliwack will benefit from this initiative”- Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon

For more information about ChildCareBC, including child care fee reductions, visit: https://www.gov.bc.ca/childcare

To apply for the Affordable Child Care Benefit, visit: https://www.gov.bc.ca/affordablechildcarebenefit

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