NORTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – $3 million in municipal planning grants are going to local child care from now through 2029.

According to a release from the province, the grants are designed to help ensure communities are responsive to young families.

“These planning grants will help municipalities and regional districts assess their current child care circumstances and identify what local families will need over the next decade,” wrote Minister of Children and Family Development Katrin Conroy.

Local governments will use the grants to create an inventory of existing child care spaces, identify how many child care spaces are needed now and how many will be needed in the coming years, and the type of child care that is needed.

More than 70 local governments applied for up to $25, 000 to plan for long-term child care needs of families in their communities.

The following North Island communities applied for and were approved for the grant:

  • Campbell River: $25, 000
  • Comox Valley Regional District, in partnership with Comox and Courtenay: $75, 000
  • Tahsis: $13, 000

A Sunshine Coast community is also receiving funding:

  • Powell River, in partnership with qathet Regional District: $50, 000

The funding comes from the Community Child Care Planning Program, In addition to the Community Child Care Planning Program, the provincial government launched the $13.7-million Community Child Care Space Creation Program in September 2018 in partnership with UBCM.

The program is funded through the Canada-BC Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. This program will provide local governments up to $1 million and support new licensed child care spaces creation, focusing on infant and toddler care.

The release added that the Ministry of Children and Family Development is investing $3.6 million over three years in Indigenous communities. The funding will support 11 new early learning and child care planning and navigator positions, which will help address specific needs of Indigenous children, families and communities throughout B.C.