More than 90 new child care spaces coming to UBC

Katrina Chen
Katrina Chen

MORE than 90 new child care spaces are coming to the University of British Columbia, giving kids an early taste of UBC life.

The morning routine will soon be easier for parents at UBC with the Province investing $3 million through its Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to support the university in creating 91 new licensed child care spaces at three centres on campus. The facilities will offer 36 infant / toddler spaces, 25 spaces for children aged three to five years and 30 spaces for school-age children. One centre is open, with the other two expected to follow this fall.

“These campus-based centres will shorten commutes for parents at UBC, allowing them to spend more time with their kids or studying,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Partnerships with public-sector organizations, like this one, allow us to take advantage of public assets to do more for families and create long-term, sustainable child care spaces that will benefit parents for years to come.”

All three centres will offer additional services to support parents and their children, including bursaries and grants for vulnerable and refugee families to help with the cost of child care.

Priority for the new spaces will be given to children of UBC students. The remaining spaces will first be made available to children of faculty and staff, then opened to the surrounding community.

“UBC Child Care Services has served our community since 1991,” said Ainsley Carry, UBC’s Vice President, Students. “The operation is recognized as a provincial leader in early child care education. These new spaces will allow us to expand our support to parents who study and work at UBC. We are incredibly grateful to the B.C. government for the continued support.”

UBC Child Care Services works closely with the local Indigenous communities to shape their curriculum, with children learning about territory acknowledgements, privilege and residential schools, and gaining an early understanding of self and community awareness.

“Far too often I hear from parents in our community who are desperate for high-quality child care for their families,” said David Eby, MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey. “These new spaces will go a long way to help. I’m so glad that UBC has partnered with government to make this happen.”

Under the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, child care providers can apply for funding to create new child care spaces at any time throughout the year under a continuous application process.

The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund is part of the Province’s Childcare BC plan and supports its commitment to give B.C. families access to affordable, quality child care when they want or need it. Since July 2018, the Province has funded approximately 10,000 new licensed child care spaces through Childcare BC. More new spaces will be announced as projects are approved.

Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, said: “These new child care centres at UBC will empower more parents to return to school and begin building a stronger future for their families. Parents can attend lectures or study knowing their children are nearby and enjoying their own learning.”

Quick Facts:

  • UBC has more than 620 child care spaces at 27 centres on its Vancouver campus. These three new centres will take the total to more than 700 spaces.
  • To date, 2,762 new licensed child care spaces in Vancouver have been approved for funding through Childcare BC’s space-creation initiatives, including Start Up Grants and the recent memorandum of understanding with the City of Vancouver.
  • On July 4, the Province announced a partnership with the City of Vancouver to create 2,300 new child care spaces at schools, community centres and other public facilities. The city is receiving $33 million from the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to create these spaces over three years.