Building more child care spaces for families in British Columbia

News release

May 16, 2024              Victoria, British Columbia              Employment and Social Development Canada

Every child deserves the best start in life. But for young families, including Millennial and Gen Z parents, the costs of child care can add up to a second rent or mortgage payment. This makes it harder to start and support a family, and as a result, parents—especially moms—often face impossible choices between their careers and child care fees.

Fairness for every generation means ensuring parents, especially moms, do not have to choose between a career and starting a family. The Government is taking action to make life cost less for young families and to build a Canada where every generation can get ahead.

Already, all provinces and territories are offering or are on track to offer $10-a-day regulated child care. This progress, made possible by nearly $40 billion in federal support since 2016, including the transformative investment of nearly $30 billion in Budget 2021, is making life more affordable for young families. Women’s labour force participation is now at a record high of 85.7%, meaning more families are bringing home more income and contributing to Canada’s economic growth, while saving thousands of dollars on child care every year.

But more families need access to affordable child care.

That’s why, today in Victoria, the Honourable Terry Beech, Minister of Citizens’ Services, highlighted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement from March 28 of $69.9 million over four years, with $47.3 million through 2025–2026, to help build more inclusive child care spaces across British Columbia through the Government of Canada’s $625 million Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund. This investment will help British Columbia reach the shared goal of building 30,000 new child care spaces by 2026.

Through this Fund, all provinces and territories will be able to make further investments in child care, so more families can save up to $14,300 on child care every year, per child.

These investments will aim to support families in rural and remote communities, as well as families in communities that face barriers to access, such as racialized groups, Indigenous Peoples, newcomers, official language minority communities, and children, parents and employees with disabilities. Funding may also be used to support infrastructure to provide care during non-standard hours.

The Minister also highlighted key measures included in Budget 2024 to build more child care spaces and infrastructure, support early childhood educators across the country, and help more families access affordable child care. These include:

  • Launching a new Child Care Expansion Loan Program. With up to $1 billion in low-cost loans and $60 million in non-repayable grants, public and not-for-profit child care providers will be able to build new spaces and renovate their existing child care centres. This means more resources for child care providers and more affordable child care options for families.
  • Offering student loan forgiveness for rural and remote early childhood educators. This will encourage educators to work in smaller communities and help families get the child care they need. With a $48 million investment over four years, Canada Student Loan forgiveness amounts will increase with the amount of time an educator works in a rural or remote area, attracting and retaining the talent, similar to the benefits we’re offering rural doctors and nurses.
  • Increasing training for early childhood educators. We’re investing $10 million over two years to train more early childhood educators, building up the talent needed for the expansion of affordable, high-quality child care.

Across the country, over 750,000 kids are already benefiting from affordable, high-quality child care, with some families saving up to $14,300 per child, per year. Alongside provinces and territories, the Government of Canada has also announced over 100,000 new spaces, well on the way to reaching the goal of creating 250,000 new spaces by March 2026.

Investing in affordable child care is about helping more families save thousands of dollars on child care and ensuring that every child has the best start in life. The measures highlighted above complement what the Government of Canada is doing in Budget 2024 to build a fairer Canada for every generation. The Government is building more homes, strengthening public health care, making life cost less, and growing the economy in a way that is shared by all—to make sure every generation has a fair chance at building a good middle-class life.


“Young families who don’t yet have access to affordable child care spaces are paying as much as a second rent or mortgage payment for unregulated child care. This is unfair to today’s generation of parents, especially Millennial and Gen Z parents, who need and deserve the relief of $10-a-day child care. We are working with provinces and territories to build more spaces across the country, so that more families can access affordable child care and save thousands of dollars every year.”

– The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance 

“Every family should have access to high-quality, inclusive child care. More child care spaces mean more high-quality spots for kids, and more relief for parents as they access affordable child care. The Government of Canada remains committed to working with the Government of British Columbia so children in Canada have the best possible start in life. The Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund will help child care providers across the British Columbia so they can continue to provide access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care to underserved communities.”

– The Honourable Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“All our kids deserve the best possible start in life and we are working to ensure families have access to high- quality early learning and childcare from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Affordable $10-a-day childcare is making a real difference for families. This means more money to help families with the cost of raising kids and has led to the highest labour force participation of women on record. Our government remains focused on making the necessary investments to increase childcare spaces and reduce wait times for families.”

– The Honourable Terry Beech, Minister of Citizens’ Services

“Families in underserved communities often face barriers accessing affordable, quality, inclusive, and culturally safe child care. Through this investment, we are further expanding access to child care spaces, ensuring even more children have the opportunity to participate in rich early learning experiences. This will make life easier for families, increase people in the workforce, and put more money back in the local and provincial economy.”

– The Honourable Mitzi Dean, British Columbia’s Minister of State for Child Care

Quick facts

  • As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a transformative investment of more than $27 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners. 

  • Combined with investments since 2016, including investments in Indigenous early learning and child care, the federal government has announced investments of nearly $40 billion in early learning and child care.

  • To date, eight provinces and territories are delivering regulated child care for an average of $10-a-day or less, including Quebec and the Yukon, which achieved this prior to the Canada-wide system. In all other provinces and territories, fees for regulated child care have been reduced by at least 50% on average. Provinces and territories are working toward lowering fees for regulated child care to $10-a-day on average by March 2026.

    • Canada-wide early learning and child care is saving families, per child, up to $6,000 in Nova Scotia, $13,700 a year in Alberta, $8,500 in Ontario, $6,900 in Saskatchewan, $6,600 in British Columbia, $6,300 in Newfoundland and Labrador, $4,170 in Prince Edward Island, $3,600 in New Brunswick, $2,610 in Manitoba, $7,300 in the Yukon, $9,120 in the Northwest Territories, and $14,300 in Nunavut.
  • As part of the Canada-wide early learning and child care system, the Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories to create 250,000 new child care spaces across the country by March 2026 to increase access to affordable child care options for families, no matter where they live.

    • To support this goal, the federal government previously announced the Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund. The Fund provides an additional $625 million to provinces and territories to support infrastructure projects for not-for-profit child care spaces in underserved communities, such as rural and remote regions, high-cost and low-income urban neighbourhoods, and communities that face barriers to access, including racialized groups, Indigenous Peoples, official language minority communities, newcomers, as well as parents, caregivers and children with disabilities.
  • To give every child the best start in life, the federal government is also:

    • Giving families more money through the Canada Child Benefit to help with the costs of raising their children and to make a real difference in the lives of children in Canada. The Canada Child Benefit, which provides up to $7,437 per child per year, is indexed annually to keep up with the cost of living and has helped lift half a million children out of poverty since its launch in 2016.
    • Improving access to dental health care for children under the age of 12 through the Canada Dental Benefit, and soon for children under 18 with the Canadian Dental Care Plan, because no one should have to choose between taking care of their kids’ teeth and putting food on the table.
    • Creating a National School Food Program to ensure that every child has the best start in life, with the food they need to learn and grow, no matter their circumstances.
    • Supporting after-school learning with an investment of $67.5 million to help all Canadian students reach their full potential. After-school learning and supports play an important role in helping students succeed in their academic pursuits, especially for at-risk students.

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