Families at Stepping Stones Child Care Centre are now paying no more than $200 a month per child as part of the B.C. government’s universal child care prototype site program.
“Stepping Stones is an example of a child care provider who defines ‘community’ in an extremely inclusive manner,” said Katrina Chen, minister of State for Child Care. “This centre’s focus on collaboration extends into the community, as Stepping Stones works with a variety of organizations, along with the local Aboriginal Friendship Society and school district to get kids involved in exciting events like the local farmers market and Indigenous celebrations.”
Stepping Stones is one of more than 50 sites chosen to offer high-quality, low-cost child care to B.C. parents. The centre provides extra staff to assist children with extra-support needs and connects families to additional resources, such as speech and occupational therapists, where needed.
A key aspect of this centre is its extensive community involvement, with children visiting and learning from organizations such as the Moberly Manor seniors’ assisted-living facility, Mt. Cartier Cottages Seniors Residential Care facility, Revelstoke Search and Rescue, and Bear Aware. The centre also supports staff by helping them upgrade their qualifications and offers play-based learning for the children.
“We are thrilled that the future of child care will be defined through these prototype sites,” said Katrine Conroy, minister of Children and Family Development. “These sites will guide quality, accessible and affordable care in a way that will benefit not just the children and families now at these sites, but families across B.C. into the future.”
The Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites will model what high-quality, affordable, universal child care may look like for B.C. families. This funding will allow Stepping Stones to offer 32 low-cost licensed child care spaces to parents in Revelstoke. In all, parents of approximately 2,500 children will benefit from the prototype project.
This project is funded through a $60-million investment as part of the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada. It complements the Province’s $1-billion three-year investment through Childcare BC to move toward its long-term vision of affordable, accessible and quality child care for any family that needs it.
Parents who are not accessing these low-cost spaces may still be eligible for support through the Affordable Child Care Benefit, which provides up to $1,250 per child a month for families with an annual income of $111,000 or less. Families using licensed child care may also see savings through the Child Care Fee Reduction, which has so far helped to reduce the cost of almost 52,000 child care spaces around the province.