As Child Care Month comes to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on the impact that child care professionals make in communities across the province.
As the Minister of Children and Family Development and a former early childhood educator, I know how important the work child care professionals do is every day.
This year, in particular, ECEs and child care providers have gone above and beyond to play a critical role in B.C.’s response to COVID-19.
At the height of the pandemic, they helped keep our province running by ensuring parents in essential services could continue to do their jobs. From doctors and nurses to police and grocery store clerks, without available child care, our communities could not have functioned.
Now, as parents return to work, they are providing families with a sense of normalcy and routine and helping to restart our economy as we transition to our ‘new normal’.
I have heard so many stories about child care professionals going the extra mile to provide safe, supportive care for kids.
The patience, kindness, and professionalism we see exhibited by these dedicated individuals provides our community with the reassurance that together we will get through this.
Over the past two years, we have worked to address the child care crisis in our province with the most significant child care investment – $1.3 million – in B.C.’s history, funding more than 13,000 spaces and reducing fees to help families find a way forward each month.
While we’ve made some real progress, the pandemic has shown us again how critical quality, affordable child care is for our communities, and highlighted where we need to do more to build a system that works for our early learning professionals and the families that rely on them.
We are so fortunate to have so many devoted centres and child care professionals in our province. I am proud of their extra dedication to the children and families they serve not just during the pandemic, but every day.
This Child Care Month, I encourage you to join me in sharing your appreciation for these professionals, who are keeping our community moving and our children learning.
Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West