Kamloops daycare centre selected for B.C. pilot program booked until 2021 - InfoNews

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Kamloops daycare centre selected for B.C. pilot program booked until 2021

Kamloops Child Development Centre early childhood educator Emily Siegrist plays with children at the North Shore childcare facility on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018.
November 21, 2018 - 4:07 PM

KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops daycare selected for the provincial government's new affordable childcare pilot program says they've had an increase in calls from parents asking to register their children almost every day.

The Kamloops Child Development Centre is located on the city's North Shore and it's one of 53 daycare sites across the province taking part in the universal affordable daycare model which delivers child care services to B.C. families for no more than $200 a month, per child. The daycare has been operating under the pilot program since Nov. 1.

The pilot program covers the operational and administrative costs of selected sites, so the daycares are able to reduce their service fees to a maximum of $200.

Kamloops Child Development Centre director of education of Helen Blair says despite the significant decrease in childcare service fees, there is still an issue of accessibility. 

The daycare centre has quickly filled their 117 spots and staff is now booking families onto a three-year long waiting list, says Blair.

"We are still a little short," Blair says. "Before the $10-a-day plan came in, we still had quite a long waiting list."

READ MORE: The lengths some Kamloops parents must go just to secure daycare

Blair says the announcement of the reduced childcare fees has been emotionally overwhelming for some parents.

"It's been really exciting... we have had parents crying, some so happy they can barely contain themselves, every day we are getting calls (from parents) that they want their children in," she says.

Blair says they currently have at least 100 kids on their waitlist.

"Two of the babies (on the list) have not even been conceived."

With such high interest in the daycare facility prices, Blair says they are hoping to see the pilot program become permanent.

"I've been in this field for 37 years and we were fighting for lower childcare fees way back then," Blair says. "Parents just cannot afford (childcare)."

The pilot program is in place until Mar. 30, 2020.

Childcare service rates with the new universal pilot program in place at the Kamloops Child Development Centre.
Childcare service rates with the new universal pilot program in place at the Kamloops Child Development Centre.

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