VICTORIA -- The B.C. government is promising to introduce nearly 120 child care spaces to the Cowichan Valley in time for the next school year.

According to the Ministry of Children and Family Development, a total of 118 new child care spaces will open across one daycare and three new purpose-built childcare centres in three local elementary schools, Alexander Elementary, Mill Bay Elementary and Palsson Elementary.

Each new centre will be able to accommodate 37 children, with 12 spaces dedicated to infants and toddlers and 25 spaces reserved for children aged three to five.

Meanwhile, the province will provide Britters Critters Daycare extra funding and support to allow for seven more children to join the existing facility.

The ministry says that each new childcare centre will offer a range of services, including free snacks to children and clothing, books and blankets for low income families if needed.

“As a working mom, I understand the challenges that parents face in trying to juggle their work and home life,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care in a news release Friday.

“By partnering with the local school district, we’re ensuring that more families have access to inclusive child care that ensures all children have what they need to thrive.”

The province expects the nearly 120 new child care spaces to be ready for the September 2020 school year.