COMOX VALLEY, B.C. – The Comox Valley Child Development Association has received a funding boost from the federal government.
The association is one of 83 organizations across B.C. that is sharing $30 million in funding over the next three years to expand and enhance their Supported Child Development and Aboriginal Supported Child Development programming for families with children with extra support needs.
Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard said the funding will help many families with children who have extra support needs access inclusive child care in the Comox Valley.
The association has already received the funding, amounting to $160,000, which its executive director Joanne Schroeder said “will be an annual increase to our program.”
The funds will go to increasing services for all children with extra needs, with a specific focus on supporting Aboriginal children.
“We are also using these funds to offer new parenting programs in the community,” she added.
This funding, announced in February 2018, reduces waitlists for inclusive child care and improves access to programs across the province for children with extra support needs.
“Every parent wants the best for their child, yet many families with children who have extra support needs have been struggling for years to find quality care,” said Katrine Conroy, B.C. Minister of Children and Family Development.
“This investment is a key part of our vision of affordable, quality child care for every B.C. family who wants it.”
Supported Child Development (SCD) can include:
- one-on-one help for children who may need assistance during meals or to take part in activities with peers.
- information and training for child care staff to help them make their programming more inclusive, such as creating a visual schedule to help children better understand their daily routine, or allowing children to begin their day earlier to be better oriented before the day begins.
- working with families to link them to other local resources and support groups in the community, or to help them access medical and other needed services.
Aboriginal Supported Child Development (ASCD) programs offer SCD services within a cultural model so that Indigenous children with extra support needs can be included in child care programs, both on and off reserve, while also learning about their heritage and culture.
“For too long, families with extra support needs have been ignored, and we’re working to fix that,” said Katrina Chen, B.C. Minister of State for Child Care. “We will test new funding models for supported child development programs as we work towards our long-term goal of a fully inclusive system under Childcare BC.”
This new funding will provide 1,000 children with access to child care with the help of SCD and ASCD programming.
The Province is investing more than $1 billion in child care over the next three years through Childcare BC, to move towards its long-term vision of a universal child care system in B.C.
- In 2018-19, SCD and ASCD programs will receive a total of $82.5 million from government.
- This figure includes $10 million per year from the federal government as part of the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement to enhance SCD programming.
- Parents of children with extra support needs may also qualify for the Affordable Child Care Benefit, which provides up to $1,250 a month per child to help with the cost of child care.
- Parents may also be eligible for an additional $150 a month per child through the Affordable Child Care Benefit.