Houston families will soon pay significantly less for daycare – about $10 a day.
The Beanstalk Childcare Centre has been selected to provide low-cost child care as part of the B.C. government’s universal child care prototype project.
Currently, parents pay $985 a month for each child under the age of three, $850 for each child between the ages of three and five, and $320 for children in after-school care.
Starting Dec. 1, parents will pay no more than $200 a month per child, regardless of the child’s age or program.
According to Amanda Tobin, Beanstalk Childcare Centre coordinator, this will make a “huge difference” to local families.
“It makes it worthwhile now for that second parent to go back to work to get a job because they can afford to put their child in child care,” she said, adding that the centre was one of 50 child care facilities selected out of 300 applicants.
“It’s really exciting to be on the edge of something that hopefully will continue past the 2020 contract.”
The centre currently has 44 licensed child care spaces, and a waitlist that Tobin considers relatively “small.” However, she expects the waitlist to grow after this announcement.
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.
Beanstalk is the only licensed child care facility in Houston. It has been owned and operated by the Houston Community Services Association since the late 1990s. The centre offers fully inclusive child care, with services available to children who may have extra support needs.
In addition, the Beanstalk Childcare Centre incorporates Aboriginal books, art and language into its daily programming to help children learn about local Aboriginal culture.
“One of the goals that we try to make is to be an inclusive centre, which includes all cultures and children of all levels,” said Tobin.
The B.C. government’s universal child care prototype project is funded through a $60-million investment as part of the early learning and child care agreement with the federal government.
“We committed to introduce affordable, accessible and quality child care for every parent and community who wants it,” said Katrine Conroy, minister of children and family development. “These spaces are the first step to making that vision a reality, and we’re excited to be working with providers throughout the province to make life better for B.C. families.”