Families at a Quesnel daycare are now paying no more than $200 a month per child as part of the BC Government’s universal child care prototype project.
“I’m just really excited to have been chosen as one of the sites,” said Ruby Derksen who owns and operates home-based Ruby’s Place Daycare.
“Of course I feel like it’s a real privilege and I’m really happy about it. But I have to say it’s my parents who are super excited-it’s just going to be such a big help in their lives to have a smaller daycare bill.”
Ruby’s Place is one of 53 universal prototype sites across the province that were announced Friday and will be operational until March 2020.
The Province said the prototype sites are the next major step in government’s 10-year ChildCare BC plan and will model what high-quality, affordable, universal child care may look like for B.C. families.
“I think that it’s everyone hope that it will help happen,” Derksen said.
“All that they’re putting in the prototypes is for that goal I would imagine so I think that the parents whether this way or another way, they need some help. It is difficult for parents and I think sometimes it limits how many children they have just because the cost is so great to have child care.”
“I think it would be really good to have a really good system come in for everyone.”
The prototypes are being funded through an investment of $60 million under the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the Government of Canada and will benefit 2,500 children.
Under the initiative, child care providers at the new prototype sites will receive government funding to cover their operational and administration costs. In return, they will reduce parent fees to a maximum of $200 per month for full-time enrolment during regular hours and will share their feedback with the B.C. government to help inform the future implementation of universal care.
“This project takes a major step towards universal child care in British Columbia. The demand for this program was so strong that we expanded it to cover more children and more sites in every region of the province in the prototype stage,” said Katrine Conroy, federal Minister of Children and Family Development in a news release.
“We want to make life more affordable for families, and this investment will demonstrate the low-cost, high-quality care B.C. parents can look forward to as we fully implement ChildCare BC.”