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P.E.I. hopes to increase licensed home child-care centres from 8 to 12 by April

P.E.I. hopes to spread the word about the perks of of licensing a family home centre with the province. (Jane Robertson/CBC - image credit)
P.E.I. hopes to spread the word about the perks of of licensing a family home centre with the province. (Jane Robertson/CBC - image credit)

The P.E.I. government wants to encourage more people to open a licensed family home centre, with hopes of increasing the number of centres from eight already operating in the province to as many as 12 by the end of March.

Doreen Gillis, director of early childhood development with the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning, says the time is right to promote what supports are available.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for anybody who maybe currently is providing care for children in their home and would like to become licensed, or for individuals who may have not thought about this before," she said.

She noted there are grants and incentives available for everything from high chairs to fire doors to outdoor fences. The quality enhancement grant includes a one-time grant up to $25,000 and an annual grant of up to $18,000.

Licensed facilities are also eligible for an operational grant that provides funding to decrease parent fees to the provincial rate.

Gillis said there are a number of applications in for licensing at this point, which stem from an information session held in the spring. She hopes another session planned for later this month will result in even more.

There is a great need on the Island right now for more spaces for infants and toddlers, said Gillis, and this will help meet that demand. Licensed family home centres can provide child care for up to eight children, depending on their ages.