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British Columbia

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Mar 25, 2020

Status of child care

As of 03/18/2020 - Child care centres are not closed. - Can choose to close or remain open.

Government statement: Province supports child care providers during COVID-19 response.

Status of child care for essential workers

03/25/2020 - Reducing the number of children in child care centres will make it easier for licensees and ECEs to follow preventative health measures. The Ministry of Health is developing detailed guidelines to inform licensees, ECEs and licensing officers on implementing best practice, which will be circulated to child care providers shortly.

See: Province supports child care providers during COVID-19 response 

Status of funds to support services/pay staff

03/20/2020 - Child care providers that stay open will receive enhanced funding to keep operations going... eligible to receive seven times their average monthly funding from the government, which is expected to cover approximately 75 percent of a centre’s average monthly operating expenses.

Child care providers who close due to COVID-19 will also receive support to help ensure they are able to pay their fixed costs, like rent/lease/mortgage during the temporary closure, so they can reopen when able. These centres are eligible to receive two times their average monthly funding from the government, which is expected to cover approximately 20% of an average group facility’s monthly operating expense.

Home child care is included. Parents cannot be charged fees if they are not using child care and can reoccupy their space when the pandemic is over.

Community responses

Early Childhood Educators of BC, statement

Coalition of child care advocates of BC, statement

Provincial responses

Province supports child care providers during COVID-19 response - Government statement.

COVID-19 and child care in the news

COVID-19: Okanagan (B.C) daycare supporting essential service providers amid COVID-19 
Salmon Arm Observer, 21 March 2020

COVID-19: BC: Child care gets a boost to help support essential service workers during coronavirus crisis
Global News, 21 March 2020

COVID-19 shut down B.C. schools — so why are daycares still open?
CBC News, 19 March 2020

COVID-19: Opinion: It's 'unethical' to keep B.C. child care facilities open during the COVID-19 pandemic
Kamloops Matters, 19 March 2020

BC: Child-care providers raise coronavirus concerns in letter to B.C. premier
Global News, 18 March 2020

B.C. daycares to stay open, but situation could change quickly: Horgan
Global News, 17 March 2020

B.C. physicians concerned over lack of childcare options amid COVID-19 emergency
CBC News, 17 March 2020

COVID-19: Preschools and daycares need guidance, financial help during pandemic say, operators
Prince George Citizen, 16 March 2020

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