Parkside at Somenos is enthusiastic about affordable childcare project

MLA Doug Routley chats with early childhood educator while outdoor activities continue at Parkside Academy in the old Somenos School on Hall Road. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Kids enjoy some outdoor fun at Parkside Academy. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
MLA Doug Routley, centre, enjoys some fun decorating a little tree with some of the children from Parkside. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Sue Plester, board chair at Parkside Academy, expresses her gratitude for the pilot program now launched at the Cowichan Valley facility. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
MLA Doug Routley, who attended on behalf of Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care, shares that he would be delighted if a provincial child care program is a legacy of this government. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Nanaimo-North Cowichan New Democrat MLA Doug Routley is welcoming new childcare investments for Parkside Academy at the old Somenos School in Duncan.

A total of 124 spaces will have fees capped at $200 per month or eliminated altogether.

Routley met with Parkside Academy Society and parents for an official kick-off on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

They told him the savings to families are significant and make a huge difference.

The initiative is part of a B.C. government pilot project that will deliver $10-a-day (or less) childcare to parents. childcare providers participating in the pilot will receive government funding to cover their operational and administrative costs, and in return, fees will be eliminated or capped at a maximum of $200 per month.

“This is an exciting next step for affordable, universal childcare in B.C.,” said Routley, admitting he’d have loved it when he still had a child in school. “Childcare Prototype Sites will significantly reduce the cost of childcare, and make life more affordable for families. I’ve been an advocate for a program like this for a long time, and it’s great to see it finally implemented across B.C.”

Routley also shared that he would be very pleased if one of the legacies of his government was a universal childcare system.

Sue Plester, one of the Parkside board members, said she was thrilled to see the project at Somenos, because it offers young families help when they need it most.

Routley and the others got a chance to watch a group of the facility’s children enjoying activities outside before coming inside the nature house.

Parkside Academy Somenos is one of the 53 organizations across the province that will be participating in the pilot project to deliver universal, affordable childcare. This funding is a part of the B.C. government’s $60 million Early Learning and childcare (ELCC) agreement with the Government of Canada.

For more information: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018CFD0092-002172

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