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Trudeau unveils $1 billion child care funding injection at B.C. centre

Prime Minister stops in Cloverdale to drum up support for the Liberal’s 2024 budget
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks to the media March 28 at Don Christian Rec. Centre as part of a B.C. tour to drum up support for the Liberal’s 2024 budget (to be tabled April 16). Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families (left), stands in the background with Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag, Deputy Premier of British Columbia Mike Farnworth, and Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Mike Starchuk. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Cloverdale March 28 to make a number of funding announcements, including $1 billion to support the new Child Care Expansion Loan Program.

The PM was at Don Christian Rec. Centre on 184th to say the federal government would kick in money for B.C.’s $10-a-day child care model too.

The PM was on a whistle stop tour of the Lower Mainland as part of the federal government’s current campaign to drum up support for their new budget—to be tabled in April.

“Affordable child care gives moms and dads the opportunity to build their careers, helps families save money, and gives kids the best start to life,” said Trudeau. “That’s why in Budget 2024, we’re taking action to build more child care spaces, hire more early childhood educators, give them more training, and work with provinces like British Columbia to make sure families get the comfort and security they deserve.”

Trudeau said the feds plan to give more than $1 billion in low-cost loans, grants, and student loan forgiveness to expand child care across the country.

The announcement was made at Don Christian because the Alex House Children’s Centre is a part of B.C.’s $10 a Day ChildCareBC program.

With the announcement, the B.C. government added more than 900 childcare spaces to B.C.’s $10-a-day program, bringing the total to more than 15,000 provincewide.

Mike Starchuck, MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale, said $10-a-day child care puts about $10,000 a year back into families’ pockets. He said, on average, that works out to be more than $900 a month per child.

“That money then contributes to our thriving economy and supports our communities.”

Starchuck told the Cloverdale Reporter the funding that has been allocated for early childhood educators will help retain workers in the childcare industry and encourage new people to enter.

He said while some $10-a-day child care facilities have had trouble with applications for funding, he thinks the hiccups will be ironed out as the program expands.

“In some cases, some of the child care providers need to understand how to get in that line, so that they can get access to that funding, so they can keep their businesses open,” he said.

Along with the new Child Care Expansion Loan Program, with $1 billion in low-cost loans and $60 million in non-repayable grants, the feds also announced other initiatives.

Another measure is an offer of student loan forgiveness for rural and remote early childhood educators. The government hopes this will encourage educators to work in smaller communities. Trudeau also promised a $48 million investment over four years for student loan forgiveness that would increase in accordance with how long an educator worked in a rural area.

The feds also promised to increase training for early childhood educators by giving $10 million over two years to support education initiatives.

Trudeau promised B.C. would get $69.9 million to create new child care spaces and support inclusive child care services across the province.

The Trudeau government will table Budget 2024 April 16 in the House of Commons.

Malin Jordan

About the Author: Malin Jordan

Malin is the editor of the Cloverdale Reporter.
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