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More than 1,800 B.C. childcare spaces created with province’s $11 million infusion

WATCH: Affordable childcare advocate Sharon Gregson says a new online map and additional childcare spaces are a start, but that much more needs to be done in overhauling the childcare system

Families in 30 communities across B.C. will see a boost in licensed childcare spaces following an $11.3-million investment from the province.

Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux made the announcement on Wednesday saying the money will provide 1,818 new childcare spaces to underserved areas of B.C.

In November 2015, the province encouraged B.C. childcare providers to apply for funding and now 45 projects are getting the money to create those news spaces in their communities. The money being dolled out must support non-profit and private childcare organizations to: build a new facility, buy and build a modular building and develop a site, renovate an existing building and/or buy equipment and furnishings for the new childcare spaces.

According to the province, priority was given to underserved areas like Surrey, Richmond, Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam, as well as on school grounds, where children can transition from programs from a young age, to the classroom and after-school care.

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“Finding quality child care is key for parents who are heading back to work or pursuing higher education or training,” Cadieux said in a statement.

“These new licensed spaces will help bring peace of mind to thousands of B.C. parents who can drop their kids off in the morning knowing they’ll be well cared for in a rich learning environment.”

The BC Institute of Technology is one of the facilities receiving $500,000 in funding to create 37 new spaces (12 for infants and toddlers, and 25 for children aged three to five).

In total, the organizations getting funding from the province will create the following childcare spaces: 449 on school grounds; 948 in other facilities and 421 of which are co-located with other early years and family programs.

So far since November 2014, MCFD has invested more than $26 million in the creation of 4,300 new licensed childcare spaces in B.C., which builds on the 111,000 spaces that currently exist.

This announcement comes on the heels of the launch of the province’s new Child Care Map, which lists the available spaces across B.C. for parents to browse.