Families in BC should have new options for their child care needs.

The province says they are creating two new licensing categories in the Child Care Licensing Regulation to support child care.

The province says childcare providers operating licensed child care under the new School Age Care on School Grounds Category will be exempt from requirements related to the minimum amount of usable floor space, washroom facilities, and outdoor play areas. The province says this is because schools are already designed to be safe for children.

“Bringing child care and education together is a significant step in our plan to create a universal, integrated and inclusive early care and learning system here in B.C.,” says Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “That’s why we are giving school districts the supports they need to increase capacity and play a stronger and more seamless role in providing child care services.”

A similar change is coming through the introduction of the Recreational Care licence category.

The province says this category will enable flexible drop-in and after-school recreation programs. According to the province, providers in this category will have fewer restrictions on physical space and programming.

“Giving families better access to quality, licensed child care is a key part of our Childcare BC plan for inclusive, universal child care,” says Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “For too long there were barriers to creating child care spaces on school grounds. Last year’s changes to the School Act combined with these regulation improvements will enable more child care programs to be offered on school grounds and through local recreation programs, making pickups and drop-offs easier for parents and giving kids a safe place to go after school.”