Parents in the Greater Victoria region can expect an easier time arranging childcare in the coming months, after the Ministry of Children and Family Development announced that 462 new spaces will be coming to the CRD.

This will be comprised of seven projects with local school districts, including partnerships with both the Greater Victoria (SD 61) and Saanich (SD63) that will bring more over 300 child care spaces to elementary schools across the region.

These spaces will be operated by local non-profit societies, with programming to be inclusive and teach children about local Indigenous cultures.

Four other projects in the Victoria region will create an additional 150 spaces for families – the City of Colwood is partnering with West Shore Parks and Recreation Society to create 40 school-age spaces, while the Esquimalt Nation is building a new 36 space child care centre.

Saanich Neighbourhood Place is also adding 49 spaces to its child care facility, and Christ Church Cathedral Education Society is opening a new junior kindergarten with 25 spaces for children, ages 3 to 5.

“Adding child care to school grounds is a win for everyone – it gives kids a smoother transition into elementary school and offers convenience for parents,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development.

“This partnership with the local school districts is bringing hundreds of spaces to families across the city. With proposed changes to the School Act, making it easier for school districts to deliver child care, we hope to see even more of these partnerships in the future.”

The investment means that since the New Spaces Fund launched in July 2018, almost 1,400 new, affordable licensed child care spaces in the CRD have been funded as part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history.

The funding is all part of the B.C. government’s Childcare BC plan — a three-year $1-billion investment into daycares and school programs across the province that was announced in February 2018.

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