Inclusion Powell River Society and Tla’amin Nation are two of the 83 organizations across the province to share $30 million in funding for child care.
Part of the province’s Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the federal government, the funding will be allotted over the next three years and is aimed at families with extra support needs, according to a statement from BC Ministry of Children and Family Development.
The funding announcement was made on Friday, October 26.
“That's only a small part of the overall child-care funding plan,” said Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons. “Taken by itself, it doesn’t seem like a lot but there are other aspects of the program that we’re rolling out.”
According to children and family development minister Katrina Chen, the program is part of the most significant health-care plan in BC history.
“We do have a long-term commitment to deliver affordable, quality, accessible and inclusive child care services for families who need it or want it and I would say this is a first step of improving services for families with extra supportive services that they require,” said Chen.
Inclusion Powell River (iPR) will receive one-time-only funding of $15,000 and Tla’amin will get $50,000, with $20,000 this year and $15,000 in years two and three.
“This came from discussions with Ministry of Children and Family Development months ago,” said Tla’amin Health Services director Nathan Jantz. “We noted to them a larger caseload and need for a van for transportation. They gave us $20,000 toward the purchase of a van.”
Under the one-time-only funding for iPR, the organization will use the money for tools to provide adapted approaches in child care, according to chief executive officer Lilla Tipton.
“We're going to use the money to purchase new assessment tools that will help the staff in doing their assessments and to develop some new technology systems that will make it possible for them to be more efficient and effective so they will be able to deliver the best quality service they can,” said Tipton.
Funding decisions were made at a local level, which looked at community specific factors such as the size of an organization and the population it serves, according to the statement from the ministry.
“This investment in children with extra support needs,” said Simons, “will go a long way in ensuring Powell River families have access to the quality care they require.”