Sea to Sky Community Services has announced that Brackendale Childcare Program has transitioned to a $10 a Day ChildCareBC Program as of January 1, 2024. Located at Brackendale Elementary School, the program becomes the eighth in Sea to Sky Community Services’ portfolio to reduce its fees for families, representing 180 of its 200 childcare spaces, SSCS said in a press release.
Families currently registered at Brackendale Childcare have been automatically enrolled in the $10 a Day ChildCareBC Program with their childcare fees capped at $200 a month for full-time child care. The program is part of the province of B.C.’s 10-year ChildCareBC plan to provide access to affordable, high-quality, inclusive child care in British Columbia.
This transition sees monthly fees reduced from approximately $700 to $200 per month for families with a child in full-time childcare with Brackendale Childcare Program. While this centre is currently at capacity, Sea to Sky Community Services does maintain a waitlist, at no cost, for families wishing to access the program.
“This announcement comes at a welcome and crucial time for families who are feeling the pinch of rising inflation, high housing costs and limited access to affordable child care,” says Jaye Russell, executive director with Sea to Sky Community Services. “Limited access to affordable child care is a barrier to employment for families in our community, which further impacts their ability to meet the rising cost of living. This also puts money back in the pockets of families wishing to access extra-curricular activities that provide added social and physical benefits for children.”
As part of the plan to reduce child care fees and expand child care access for all families in B.C., the province is working with the federal government through the Canada-British Columbia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care agreement to fund an additional number of existing licensed child care providers through the $10 a Day ChildCareBC Program.
“These child care spaces will make a real difference for the community by making life more affordable for families in Squamish,” says Jenna Sudds, Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “Having access to more affordable spaces here in British Columbia and across the country is essential as we continue to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system that works for families.”
“Our government is focused on making high-quality, affordable and inclusive child care a reality for families across the country, including here in British Columbia,” says Patrick Weiler, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country. “Child care fees have already been reduced by half across B.C., and today’s Brackendale Childcare Centre announcement means Sea to Sky Community Services will be offering 180 child care spaces for $10-a-day. With the cost of living being top of mind for many families, affordable child care is providing welcome relief while ensuring children get high-quality and inclusive care.”
Sea to Sky Community Services also participates in the Province’s Early Childhood Educator Wage Enhancement program, which provides a wage lift to Early Childhood Educators. Effective January 1, 2024, Early Childhood Educators who hold a post-basic certificate as an Infant and Toddler Educator or Special Needs Educator are eligible to receive a grant of $2,000 or $3,000 from the Province, depending on whether they hold one or both specialized certificates.
“We’ve always known how important Early Childhood Educators are to collectively raising happy, healthy and thriving children,” says Cheryl Simpson, manager of child care services with Sea to Sky Community Services. “These steps help us position Early Childhood Education as a more attractive career choice for professionals who provide an essential service in the early years of childhood development.”
Families who need additional support with the cost of child care are also encouraged to check their eligibility and apply for the Affordable Child Care Benefit. This program offers a monthly payment made directly to the service provider to further reduce the cost of child care, even at $10 a Day ChildCareBC sites. Sea to Sky Community Services can also offer support for families to help assess their eligibility or submit an application through their Child Care Resource and Referral Program.