Child-care professionals crucial in efforts to combat COVID-19

By Jinny Sims and Rachna Singh

VICTORIA: May is Child Care Month in B.C., and this year we have so many reasons to recognize and thank the child care providers, and child care professionals who are making such a big difference in the lives of children and families in Surrey.

Access to affordable, quality child care helps women, children, and families in Surrey thrive. As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, child care providers have been vital to keeping our society going. Their critical role helps parents who are essential workers continue to support our communities each day. From doctors and nurses, to police officers and grocery store clerks, without available child care, our community could not function.

Across B.C. child care providers are going above and beyond to keep communities and economies going. Here in Surrey, providers like Options, the Centre for Child Care Development, and many others have stayed open to support families of essential workers, who are working tirelessly to meet the wide-ranging needs of children and families.

Examples like these demonstrate the resilience, compassion, and dedication that exists in B.C.’s child care sector. We are so fortunate to have so many devoted centres and child care professionals in our province.

Our government understands how crucial access to quality child care is for families. To ensure child care remains accessible to essential service workers during these uncertain times, we have introduced a temporary emergency fund to offer support for licensed child care centres to stay open, even with reduced enrolment, as well as support for centres who close to ensure they can re-open safely when the time is right.

Over the past two years we have worked together to address the longstanding child care crisis in B.C., and have begun to make real progress in making child care more affordable and accessible for families. Our government has funded more than 13,000 new spaces in communities across the province, helping parents save up to $1,600 a month per child through our Fee Reduction Initiative.

We are so proud of the contributions child care professionals have made to children and families in Surrey, not only during these difficult times, but every day.

This Child Care Month, we encourage you to share your appreciation for the child care professionals who are keeping our community moving and our children learning.

Jinny Sims is the MLA for Surrey-Panorama

Rachna Singh is the MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers