VICTORIA - Families will now have easy access to information about child-care or early childhood development programs in their neighbourhoods, thanks to the launch of two online maps.
The easy to navigate maps provide users with the name, address and contact information for more than 4,200 child-care programs and more than 1,300 early years programs in communities throughout B.C.
Each map serves as a simple, one-stop-shop resource for parents where they can input their child-care or early childhood development needs and get a map that lists local centres and programs.
The child-care map displays licensed child-care providers in communities in the province, and allows parents to search by city, address and licence type. The child-care map also links to health authority inspection reports, which offer summaries of routine inspections of licensed child-care facilities.
Users can either zoom in on a location, or enter their address to see which child-care services are available nearby. Parents can locate child care that meets their specific needs by searching based on type of care, hours of operation, languages spoken at the child care, and whether they offer meals or pickup service.
The early years services map shows a variety of early childhood development services and programs including Family Resource Programs, Aboriginal early childhood development, Parent-Child Mother Goose, Seeds of Empathy and StrongStart BC.
It also displays the locations of Immigrant Settlement Services Agencies to help new immigrant families connect with services in their community, and Child Care Resource and Referral Centres, which offer quality child-care referrals.
Over the coming months, additional service providers will be added to the maps and usability will continue to be enhanced. Both maps will also be regularly reviewed to ensure address and contact information is accurate and up to date.
The maps can be found on the Ministry of Children and Family Development's website at: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/childcare/
Mary McNeil, Minister of Children and Family Development -
"From packing kids lunches, to trips to the grocery store, to pursuing career or education opportunities, we know that parents are often juggling several things at once, so we wanted to create user-friendly online tools to help busy parents find and access local programs."
"Families now have a range of program and service options at their fingertips, without having to go to several different websites."
Marianne Drew-Pennington, executive director, BC Association of Family Resource Programs -
"Parents, caregivers and practitioners now have access to an array of family programs in communities across the province. The BC Association of Family Resource Programs is thrilled to have an online navigation tool to present to families, whether they are seeking a place in their community or looking for programs in another community where they may be moving."
Wayne Robertson, chair, Provincial Child Care Council -
"Having an open data catalogue of quality child-care centres and early learning programs in communities across the province will make things easier for parents and caregivers who are seeking these services. Now, parents will be able to search online for a range of child-care and early learning options, and even get a street map view of where they are located."
Brenda Gottfried, owner/operator, Freedom Child Care in Victoria -
"The child-care map will make it quicker and easier for parents to find quality child-care programs in their communities. It will also benefit child-care operators to have our services listed and easily located."
- The Ministry of Children and Family Development will invest $296 million on child care in 2012-13 - a 40 percent increase since 2000-01.
- The child-care system is actively supporting parents of young children to work or go to school. There are over 5,000 licensed child-care facilities in communities throughout B.C., with more than 100,000 licensed child-care spaces.
- Parents can choose from a range of child-care options that meet their needs, including group child care (centre based), family child care (based in a family home), preschool, before- and after-school care and care in their own home.
- Child-care subsidies are available to support low and moderate income families, helping approximately 50,000 children and their families every year.
- The ministry will invest approximately $27.3 million in a range of early childhood development programs and services throughout 2012-13.
- Early childhood development programs and services are designed to help parents, service providers and family members provide the best possible start for children, from birth to age six.
- B.C.'s network of child-care and early childhood development supports also provides thousands of jobs. Throughout the province, there are more than 12,000 licensed early childhood educators and nearly 5,000 early childhood educator assistants.
- Thirty-four post-secondary training institutes in B.C. offer early childhood education programs.
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 508-8403 (cell)