B.C. government launches online map that shows daycare vacancies

B.C. gov’t launches child care map for parents
WATCH: It can be tough to find licensed child care, so the province is launching a new tool to help connect parents with open spots. But as Aaron McArthur reports, parents say the spaces don't even exist.

For parents of younger children, finding licensed child care is a constant battle.

In many cases, if you’re not on a waiting list before your child is even born, you’re out of luck. So the province is launching a new tool to help connect parents with open child care spots.

The new Child Care Map lists available spaces across the province.

“One of the things that parents have told us they needed was a map,” Minister of Child and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux said.

“One of the things we know from talking to providers was that while one provider in a community might be full and have a waiting list, another provider might have space available, but they might not even know of each other.”

The ministry says thousands of new spaces have been created over the past four years and the budget for early childhood education tops $300 million annually.

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However, the map shows spaces in Metro Vancouver are hard to come by and critics say they wish the government would focus less on online tools and more on the business of creating additional daycare spaces.

“It’s almost a joke that in the face of the depth and breadth of the child care crisis in this province, the best they can come up with is an interactive map,” Sharon Gregson of the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. said.

The government is set to make an announcement on Wednesday about child care spaces in the province.

– With files from Aaron McArthur