$4.1 million announced for the Seamless Day Kindergarten pilot program

16 May 2023 | Canada | 35 |
$4.1 million announced for the Seamless Day Kindergarten pilot program

In an effort to provide additional child care spaces to young families, the provincial government introduced a pilot program to provide child care in kindergarten classrooms across B.C.

On Monday, it was announced that more families will soon be able to access the program.

“This program right here is the start. We start off our students and our learners and our families in a good way every day and we can start this program. We can move them along through the school system,” said Rob Zandee, board chair of School District 53.

The Seamless Day Kindergarten program started in 2019 to provide early learning opportunities as well as inclusive and affordable care.

It utilizes existing kindergarten classrooms outside of school hours for before- and after-school care.

“It minimizes transitions, provides continuity for our youngest learners and enables greater parent involvement in the child’s day,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care.

“Giving the busy families peace of mind knowing their children are learning and playing in one safe place all day.”

Oliver Elementary School was one of the first involved in the pilot program and since then it has rapidly expanded.

This school year, 20 classrooms around the province were added to the pilot to bring the total to 45. Come September, the number of schools involved will nearly double.

“In 2023-24, $4.1 million in new funding will be provided to support that seamless day kindergarten pilot program,” Singh said.

Seamless Day Kindergarten is part of a 10-year plan to improve access to child care in B.C.

“We are working hard to make access to affordable quality and inclusive child care a core service that families can rely on. A key part of that is working to prioritize child care as we build and replace schools,” said Grace Lore Minister of State for Child Care.

The demand for the program has been rising across the province, as parents look for options that better suit their needs.

“We’ve heard from parents about the benefits of being a one-stop shop. We like that. They speak very positively about the fact and the effects like this program has on their kids,” Zandee said.

The pilot also creates more job opportunities for early childhood educators as they work alongside classroom teachers.

by Global News