$153 million in federal cash to fund child care and education training in B.C.

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North Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson says Canada’s role is to support the rights of protesters, as protests continue in Iran. file photo North Shore News

The federal government says a bilateral agreement with British Columbia will create new child care spaces, reduce fees for parents and recruit and retain early childhood educators.

Canada’s investment of $153 million was announced in B.C.’s budget this week and is part of the province’s work to eventually establish a universal child care system.

The agreement will create 1,370 new infant and toddler spaces, help care providers administer low-cost programs and apply new funding streams to train early childhood educators over three years.

North Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson says raising children in B.C. can be very costly and this agreement is part of the federal government’s $7.5 billion child care investment over the next 11 years.

B.C. Children’s Minister Katrine Conroy says the province’s child care crunch is hard on families and the economy, and providing more affordable care will allow parents to return to work earlier.

Today’s announcement had been scheduled for earlier this month but was abruptly cancelled by the federal government, leading B.C.’s Opposition Liberals to charge that the province’s actions on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion were taking a toll on federal-provincial relations.

Conroy and Wilkinson dismissed the allegation today, with Conroy saying it was merely a “glitch in scheduling.”

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