Sea to Sky Community Services is proud to offer local families affordable child care.
SSCS provides high-quality programs throughout our region to enhance the lives of residents at every age and stage of life. And child care is no exception – quality, accessible, and affordable child care is vital to a healthy community. Ensuring adequate, quality child care builds strong, vibrant communities.
In April 2022, we were thrilled to learn that seven of the nine child care programs we offer were chosen to participate in the Province of BC’s $ 10-a-Day ChildCareBC prototype program. Spaces in the $ 10-a-Day ChildCareBC centres save families an average of $800 per month per child and participation in this program meant we could provide low-cost child care for 164 of our 200 child care spots, making life more affordable for dozens of families in the Sea to Sky. Many parents who had previously relied on SSCS for part-time child care could enroll for full-time care and increase their work hours, bringing home additional income and helping to alleviate cost-of-living pressures. The extra household income was a welcome relief in an expensive community like the Sea to Sky Corridor.
“I feel like the last seven years have been such a struggle. To think there is some relief to the struggle is a HUGE stress reliever.” – parent of a child in our $ 10-a-Day ChildCareBC Centre.
Another parent shared that the $ 10-a-Day program allowed them to reinvest their savings into their family in ways they previously couldn’t afford. With the lower cost of child care, families could now spend money on expenses such as healthier food for their family, vacations, and extra-curricular activities. These experiences and activities enabled local families to strengthen family bonds and create lasting memories.
In addition to helping families, the $ 10-a-Day ChildCareBC program supports SSCS child care staff. In our application to become a $ 10-a-Day ChildCareBC program facility, we secured additional funding to support recruitment and retention strategies for staff. This additional funding has allowed us to increase program staff wages in alignment with SSCS’s union pay grid and establish competitive job positions to attract and retain greatly needed qualified professionals.
A growing region with growing needs
The communities within the Sea to Sky Corridor are rapidly growing. According to census data from 2016-2022, the population of Squamish increased by 22%, and Pemberton increased by a whopping 32%! These are tremendous increases that far exceed the provincial average of 7%. Growth in our local communities has vastly outpaced the availability of child care spaces.
According to the 2018-2023 Squamish Child Care Needs Assessment and Strategy, there is only one child care space for every five children aged 1-2.5 years, resulting in only a 20% child care access rate. In 2019, the 2019-2023 Pemberton Child Care Needs Assessment Strategy identified that 50% of Pemberton’s children were on a waitlist for childcare. We are working hard to bring affordable child care to the region, but it’s something we need help to do. Creating working relationships with local municipalities and the Government of BC will help bring more child care to the Sea to Sky. Donations help too.
You can help!
By making a financial gift to Sea to Sky Community Services, you can help your community thrive. Funding SSCS programs and services – like child care – ensures we can support our communities to the absolute best of our abilities. When it comes to child care, demand from families is at an all-time high, and our waitlists are always longer than the spaces we have available. With additional funding, SSCS can support local families through our child care programs and provide them with the security and safety needed to flourish as both families and contributing community members.