Prince Rupert child care centre joins $10-a-day program

Discovery Childcare Centre (DCC) in Prince Rupert is converting 32 spaces to $10-a-day childcare this January, the Ministry of Education and Child Care announced on Jan. 3.

Half of the newly funded spaces at the centre, run by the Prince Rupert Options for Social Growth Society, are for the infant to toddler age bracket and the other half are for 2.5-years to kindergarten-age children.

Once a centre has been approved for the $10-a-day program, all of the families with children enrolled at the centre will automatically benefit, the provincial government’s website states.

“Affordable child care can be life-changing, and with these new $10-a-day spaces, we continue our work to make life more affordable for families with more spaces converted in the next few weeks,” Grace Lore, B.C.’s Minister of State for Child Care said.

“I am so excited to have our daycare accepted to be a $10-a-day centre,” Lisa Pretulac, manager at Discovery Childcare Centre, said.

“This has been a dream over much of my 30-year career that most of us thought would never happen. I’m proud to provide this for our families and see it as such a positive step toward a quality, sustainable system of child care for both families and child care professionals.”

“I’m very excited for Discovery Daycare to start the $10-a-day program,” Christy Colussi, a parent at DCC, said.

In the latest round of approvals, 35 childcare centres in the province received a combined total of 1,375 new $10-a-day spaces, bringing the provincial number to almost 12,000. The government of British Columbia’s goal was to convert 12,500 childcare spaces to the $10-a-day program by December 2022 and they wrote that more will be added in the coming weeks to meet the goal by February 2023.

The program is a partnership between the provincial and federal governments as part of a strategy to make child care more affordable for families.

“As a parent, I have two children attending Discovery, so it saves us almost $1,000 per month. This will allow us to add to the children’s Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) accounts, as well as help us travel to see our extended family in Ontario,” Colussi said.

The provincial government estimated the average cost of child care as $1,000 per month and with the new program, it will be closer to $200 per month, saving families up to $800.

Kaitlyn Bailey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View