Childcare That Costs Less Than Lunch

With so many expenses rising, a new program could help

Some Comox families will pay just $10 a day

Are you thinking about having kids?

Are you worried about if you can afford kids in today’s economy?

Those bold enough to bring the next generation into the world are facing a firehose of challenges lately.

Kids have always been expensive, but now more than ever.

Luckily, there’s a bit of relief coming for some Comox families.

The $ 10-a-day childcare campaign that’s rolling out across BC.

The goal has been to reduce parent fees by 50 percent by this December, plus introduce $10-a-day fees. In addition, the plan is to create 30,000 new licensed spaces by 2026.

On the Island, many families will now be paying less than an average lunch to keep their kids cared for all day.

This will come through newly registered ChildCareBC sites, where fees will be capped at a maximum of $200 a month per child.

That should ease the burden for a ton of parents.

“Nearly 150 childcare spaces in communities across the North Island are converting to $10-a-day spaces,” said Michele Babchuk, MLA for the North Island to Campbell River Now. “This will make a big difference for dozens of families who can access the childcare they need at a more affordable price, saving them hundreds of dollars each month.”

In Comox, there will be 16 new $10-a-day spots at The Comox Valley Children’s Day Care Society (CVCDCS) Lighthouse Early Learning Centre for kids from 2.5 to kindergarten

These spaces, along with the additional fee reductions for non-$10-a-day sites that were just announced, will be a big win for the families that can snag them.

However, there’s still a long way to go for affordable childcare to be available to everyone.

“While all of this is wonderful news, there are still very long wait lists for spaces,” said CVCDCS senior manager Charlene Gray. “Currently, a family can expect to wait up to two years for a space. Many parents go on the wait list the moment they know they are expecting, and even then, the wait is long.”

Gray says the main reasons for the wait times are the shortage of trained early childhood educators, and simply too few spaces to meet the demand.

Hopefully, as the $10-a-day campaign expands, this will be addressed. Then, what they term “Childcare Chaos” may get less chaotic in the next few years.

To help support the campaign, you can go here for resources and info on getting involved.

For a complete list of where the new spaces are available across the Island, scroll to the bottom of this page to find the closest spot near you.