Families in Comox will have access to 16 new licensed child care spaces as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to increasing child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“Affordable child care and housing are key commitments of our government and we are delivering on both at the Aspen Road project,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “Housed on the ground floor of the apartment building, this child care facility will deliver a variety of services for children, such as behavioural therapy and speech language therapy, which will give kids in the Comox Valley the absolute best start in life.”
Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund is supporting the Town of Comox to create 16 spaces for children aged 30 months to kindergarten at the Aspen Grove Children’s Centre. The Comox Valley Children’s Daycare Society will operate the centre on the ground floor of a newly developed apartment complex. These new spaces are expected to open in April 2022.
“As we celebrate 50 years as a non-profit organization, we are very excited to be partnering with the Town of Comox to expand our high-quality child care programs,” said Charlene Gray, senior manager, Comox Valley Children’s Day Care Society. “We are grateful for the provincial funding that will enable us to offer warm and loving care that is inclusive and responsive to the unique needs of children and families and will address the increasing demand for child care in the valley.”
The project site is 695 Aspen Rd., and it will help deliver a number of subsidized housing units, as well as a new non-profit daycare centre for the total of 28 children.
“Comox has been focused on improving the quality of life for all of our residents,” said acting Mayor Ken Grant of Comox. “Sixteen of these new child care spaces will be created for our community, working together with the Province through their contribution from Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund and the Comox Valley Children’s Daycare Society. We are excited for these new additions to Comox.”
July 2020 marks the second anniversary of the launch of the New Spaces Fund, which has approved an average of 700 new spaces for funding each month. So far, nearly 16,800 new spaces have been funded throughout the province, helping parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.
“As a former early childhood educator, I know that quality child care makes a huge difference to families, allowing parents to go back to work or school and benefitting local economies in every part of B.C.,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “I’m proud of the progress our government has made in a short time. By funding over 16,000 child care spaces across the province, our Childcare BC plan is saving parents time and money and helping children along the path to lifelong learning.”
These new spaces are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history. An additional 4,100 spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, means that more than 20,900 new licensed spaces have been funded since July 2017.
Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
This investment means 161 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in the Comox Valley Regional District area since July 2018.
As the Province moves towards its “new normal” under COVID-19, child care capital builds may see unexpected delays. Once operational, child care providers will be required to follow guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control to keep staff and the families they serve safe and to limit the risk of transmission.