Licensed child care providers get $20 million to cover expenses during Omicron surge – BC News

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$20 million for child care

The province has stepped up efforts to help BC’s licensed child care providers who are grappling with the burden of staffing shortages and additional costs as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on.

The $20 million comes in the form of one-time grants and addresses concerns raised by vendors about the ramp-up of the Omicron variant.

“Childcare professionals are at the heart of childcare services and they have been working tirelessly since the start of the pandemic. As a parent of a young child, I know firsthand the huge difference their support makes to families and communities,” said Katrina Chen. , Minister of State for Early Childhood.

“We are committed to meeting the needs of child care providers in this ever-changing situation. These new grants will help child care providers continue to keep children safe and healthy by funding COVID-related staffing, supplies and cleaning needs.

Authorized providers are eligible for a grant of $160 per space based on the facility’s maximum capacity. Money is expected to start flowing by mid-February to centers that receive Child Care Operating Funding (CCOF) and those that participate as $10-a-day ChildCareBC sites (formerly prototype universal childcare sites).

“Ensuring daycares continue to be safe spaces for children and professionals is a top priority,” Chen said. “That’s why, since the spring of 2020, we’ve provided more than $320 million in temporary emergency funding and, with that, more than $73 million in health and safety grants. We will continue to support child care providers through the pandemic as we work on our ChildCareBC plan to make child care a core service available to every family who wants it, when they need it, an affordable price. »

The announcement follows a virtual information session for childcare professionals and parents featuring the Minister, along with Dr. Bonnie Henry and other public health officials on January 26, 2022. A link to the video of the session is available here.

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