Children and Family Development Minister Katrine Conroy visits a daycare in 2018. (B.C. government)

Children and Family Development Minister Katrine Conroy visits a daycare in 2018. (B.C. government)

COVID-19 essential workers can apply for B.C. pre-school child care

Parent referral opens, providers offered emergency funding

B.C. licensed child care providers can get up to seven times base funding for stepping up to provide service to parents of pre-school children on the front lines of the COVID-19 emergency effort.

The B.C. government opened a new application system March 31 for parents in essential service roles seeking urgent child care for children five and under. Priority roles are health services, social services, law enforcement, first responders and emergency response.

The application form is available at www.gov.bc.ca/essential-service-child-care or calling 1-888-338-6622 and selecting “option four”. They must provide their category of work, children’s ages and the community where they need child care.

Parents of children aged five to 12 are directed to obtain child care directly through their school districts.

RELATED: Here’s what’s considered essential service in B.C.

RELATED: B.C. issues COVID-19 guidelines for grocery stores

Child care providers can choose to allocate spaces to essential worker use, with up to seven times their average monthly operating base funding available. The referral service is assessing how much child care is needed for hours outside the usual weekday service.

The education ministry is working with school districts and independent schools to support children aged five to 12. They have also been directed to deal with “tier one” priority jobs first, and provide access to care before, during and after school hours.

The full priority list for essential job categories is here.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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