BC Daycares are set to receive $20million dollars to beef up their defenses against the Omicron covid variant.
The new, one time Health and Safety grant can be used to buy cleaning supplies, sanitizer or masks, or to hire a cleaning company.
It can also help pay for additional staff to cover absences due to illness.
“Child care professionals are the heart of child care and they have been working tirelessly since the pandemic started. As a parent of a young child, I know first-hand the tremendous difference their support is making to families and communities,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “We are committed to responding to the needs of child care providers during this ever-changing situation. These new grants will help child care providers continue to keep children safe and healthy by providing funding for COVID-related staffing, supplies and cleaning needs.”
The 2022 Health and Safety Grant helps address concerns raised by child care professionals due to the rise of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Licensed providers who are open and regularly receiving provincial funding will get a grant of $160 per space based on the facility’s maximum capacity. This means a group provider with 25 spaces can expect to receive a grant of about $4,000.
The ministry will calculate the grant and provide it to operators who receive Child Care Operating Funding (CCOF) and those participating as $10-a-Day ChildCareBC sites (formerly Universal Child Care Prototype Sites). The grants will be issued in early to mid-February and will support providers for the coming year.
“Making sure that child care centres continue to be safe spaces for children and professionals is a top priority,” Chen said. “That’s why, since spring 2020, we have provided more than $320 million in temporary emergency funding and, with this, more than $73 million in health and safety grants. We will continue to support child care providers to navigate the pandemic as we work toward our ChildCareBC plan to make child care a core service available to every family that wants it, when they need it, at a price they can afford.”
BC Centre for Disease Control updated Public Health Guidance for Child Care settings:
Recording of an information session regarding public-health guidance for child care. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/caring-for-young-children/child-care-response-covid-19/child-care-response-covid-19-provider/child-care-response-covid-19-health-safety#teleconferences