Spring has sprung! The month of May is here - and thousands of child-care providers across the province have an extra spring in their step - in celebration of Child Care Month in B.C.
Child-care facilities - and the dedicated, highly skilled child-care providers they employ - offer an array of play-based learning activities for babies, toddlers, and children. That means B.C. parents can pursue career, education and training opportunities, knowing their children are safe, happy and well-cared-for.
Quality child care comes in many different shapes and sizes - ranging from large, bustling group care facilities, to smaller, home-based programs. The focus of a centre typically reflects the needs of those they serve - for example, centres serving young parents may offer parent-skills training and tips alongside child care, helping to ensure better outcomes for young families.
Child-care centres serving Aboriginal children and families may incorporate traditional language, crafts or games, giving young children a chance to play, grow, and learn in a culturally relevant environment. For example, when you walk through the door of the Gingolx Headstart Daycare Centre, you're greeted by a nurturing atmosphere of playing, learning, and cultural activities for young children, including singing, drumming, and Nisga'a language learning opportunities. This centre, created with $500,000 in major capital funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development, is an integral part of the small Nisga'a Village of Gingolx (Kincolith) in Northwest B.C.
Communities, individuals, and organizations throughout B.C. have organized events in celebration of Child Care Month, which will be held throughout the province during May. The B.C. government is also recognizing the extraordinary work of child care providers by proclaiming May 19 as Child Care Provider Appreciation Day. The annual Child Care Awards of Excellence -honouring B.C. child-care professionals, organizations, and local governments who have demonstrated outstanding service to children and families - will be held May 26 in Vancouver.
Mary McNeil, Minister of Children and Family Development:
"Putting families first is a key priority for this ministry and government as a whole. We know that safe, high quality, accessible and affordable child-care is a priority for thousands of B.C. families. As we kick off Child Care Month in B.C., we want to shine the spotlight on child-care providers, who play such an important role in the lives of children and families. Thank you for all that you do, each and every day!"
Chief Councillor Nelson Clayton, on behalf of the Gingolx Village Government:
"Education has always been a top priority for Gingolx - as we want to pass along our traditions, culture, and language on to the younger generations - leading the way into the future. The Gingolx Headstart Daycare Centre is very important to our community because it incorporates our language and culture in learning-based programming, and it encourages the true spirit of families and community connecting together."
Christine MacLeod, board member, Provincial Child Care Council:
"The Provincial Child Care Council extends our congratulations and best wishes to child-care providers throughout the province as they celebrate Child Care Month. We appreciate their hard work and are grateful for their dedication and commitment to enhancing the lives of our children each and every day in their communities."
Mary Walters, Interior regional coordinator, on behalf of the BC Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR) Program Regional Coordinators:
"Child-care providers provide quality early learning experiences and care that help build a foundation of success and well-being for the children and families in B.C. CCRR programs are honoured to work with these professionals and commend them for their hard work. We encourage everyone to acknowledge and celebrate child-care providers, across B.C."
If you are a parent and you want to find available child care in your neighborhood, go to: http://www.ccrr.bc.ca/
If you are a parent and you want to find out more information about subsidies, go to: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare/subsidy_promo.htm
If you are a child-care provider and you want to learn more about available services through the ministry, go to: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare/providers.htm