Before- and after-school care to be available in 3 B.C. districts this fall

Click to play video: 'Three school districts to offer before and after-school care'
Three school districts to offer before and after-school care
The province is implementing a one-size-fits-all approach for child care in three school districts this fall. The idea is to keep kids in the same place all day, while school support staff look after them. Richard Zussman reports. – May 14, 2024

The B.C. government says a pilot project, set to be launched in three school districts this fall, will help families with before-and-after-school care on school grounds.

Schools in Chilliwack, Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Nechako Lakes districts will use existing school space as well as school district resources and staff to provide care without additional pickups and drop-offs.

This means that parents and caregivers will drop off children at their school before instruction hours begin and their children will be looked after on school grounds. Children needing after-school care will also be looked after on school grounds until pick-up time.

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It is hoped that this model will expand into other school districts following the initiative.

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“As a parent, I know how hard it can be to balance work and school hours. It’s hard to find care for your child before school starts or after the bell rings at the end of the day,” Premier David Eby said in a statement.

“We’re partnering with three school districts to provide care on school grounds so children benefit from familiar faces and places throughout the day and families can count on one pickup and drop-off location.”

It will be up to each district to create a model of care that meets provincial guidelines and needs.

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In addition, the province says these spaces will be affordable and families may also be eligible for fee reductions or the Affordable Child Care Benefit.

“School ECEs and district support staff not only provide learning to children but also form strong bonds with them,” B.C.’s Education Minister, Rachna Singh, said.

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“As such, these educators are well-positioned to provide a seamless transition from the school day into the extended hours that many families need for child care.”

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