Parents on Vancouver Island are ecstatic after the B.C. government announced it will begin testing out $10-a-day child care at more than 50 facilities around the province.

At Frog Hollow day care in Vancouver, B.C. Premier John Horgan was joined by federal and provincial ministers as they announced that universal child care would be tested out at 53 sites across the province.

The "Universal Child Care Prototype Sites" will provide care at a model cost of $10 a day per child or less, said North Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson.

Horgan said he's been working with the federal government on providing $10-a-day child care over the past 15 months, with it being a key focus in meetings with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"The reason we're investing in child care is because our future is sitting around these tables," he said. "If we're not going to invest in our children them we won't be able to have the services and society we all want."

Child care providers chosen for the pilot project will receive government funding that will allow then to reduce fees to $200 a month, with parents of 2,500 kids benefiting.

The 53 sites were selected after the province put out a call for applications earlier this year, with priority given to sites with infant and toddler spaces.

On Vancouver Island, facilities in Comox, Duncan, Port Alberni, Port Hardy, Tofino and Victoria were chosen as prototypes.

"I cried…It's like winning the lottery," said Naomi Sikora, a parent of two youngsters at a Fernwood daycare chosen as one of the test sites.

She said she expects to save around $800 a month thanks to the new pilot.

The province and federal government are investing $60-million in taxpayer funds to support the project.

For lucky parents, the test will run from this month to March 2020. Daycare staff say for multi-child working families, savings will likely be in the thousands.

"There was a comment from a family that they no longer have to worry about food security, so it alleviates a lot of the pressure from those other things," said Shonna Bell, a program coordinator for Fernwood Childcare.

While parents of kids at day cares not chosen for the project may be upset, the government says they may still be eligible to receive up to $1,250 per month through the Affordable Child Care Benefit.

Wilkinson said the federal government has committed to add 40,000 new child care spaces across Canada in the next few years.

He said the government would be "certainly interested" in expanding the universal child care program if it's considered a success. 

Universal Child Care Prototype sites on Vancouver Island below. Full list here.







Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group Society

Fernwood Infant and Toddler Care & Fernwood Neighbourhood Childcare (Non-Profit)

20 (Under 36 Months)
25 (Age 3-5 years)
54 (School-Age)


Lexie's Little Bears Child Care Inc.

Lexie’s Little Bears Child Care (Corporate/Limited Company)

28 (Under 36 Months)
29 (Age 3-5 years)


Comox Valley Children's Day Care Society

Tigger Too Early Learning Centre (NonProfit)

12 (Under 36 Months)
23 (Age 3-5 years)
20 (Preschool)


Parkside Academy Society

Parkside Academy Somenos (Non-Profit)

12 (Under 36 Months)
42 (Age 3 -5 years)
20 (Preschool)
50 (School -Age)

Port Alberni

Alberni Valley Childcare Society

Baby Steps (Non-Profit)

20 (Under 36 months)

Port Hardy

Rainbow Country Daycare Society

Rainbow Country Daycare (Non-Profit)

8 (Under 36 Months)
20 (Age 3 -5 years)
25 (School -Age)
8 (Group Multi -Age)


Margaret McLellan

Grandma Marg’s Clubhouse (Sole Proprietor)

8 (In -Home Multi -Age)