The owner of a North Saanich daycare says the Saanich Peninsula needs additional spaces in pointing to her own waiting list which has quadrupled.
“I have 120 people on my waitlist,” said Tracey McCullough, who owns Garden Child Care Centre, along with her husband. “Before COVID-19, I had about 30 people on my list.”
These figures confirm recent findings that North Saanich, along with the rest of the region, suffers from a chronic shortage of daycare space. McCullough’s comments come after the provincial government announced in early March that 340 new spaces will come available over the next two years.
The spaces will be available in Victoria (210 spaces), Sooke (62 spaces), and Tahsis (eight spaces) with North Saanich receiving 56 new spaces through the Tseycum Childcare Centre scheduled to open in December.
When asked when the region might expect additional spaces, the ministry of child and family development said the province will announce a new round of New Spaces Fund recipients in the spring of 2021.
The statement also said planning is underway for the next phase of the provincial childcare plan as the government works toward bringing what it describes as “affordable, quality child care” to more families.
“Budget 2021 will continue to support people, businesses and communities through the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare B.C. for a strong economic future,” it reads. “A total of 213 new, licensed child care spaces have been funded in North Saanich and the surrounding area since July 2018.”
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