Cash boost to help parents’ schooling — Increase follows cut that shut down child care centre

Lindsay Kines, Times Colonist

The B.C. government has replaced part of the money it cut last year from programs that help young parents stay in school…

The 44 programs across the province also will divide a lump sum retroactive payment of about $500,000….

The subsidy increase comes less than a year after the ministry reduced funding to parent support programs in Victoria.

The Cridge Centre ended up closing its Higgins House child care centre at Victoria High School after 15 years of operation.

The Options centre, which had one contract cut by 43 per cent, decided to keep its doors open and run a deficit.

Options co-ordinator Heather Kay said Tuesday that the subsidy increase replaces some, but not all, of the money that was lost. “So it’s a big help, but it doesn’t quite get us up to the funding that we had previously,” she said.

Kay said the centre remained open because the board of the Artemis Options Society believed in the program. The society currently supports 12 young mothers taking classes in the Girls’ Alternative Program while their children are in on-site day care. There are another six mothers on the waiting list…

NDP children’s critic Maurine Karagianis welcomed the subsidy increase, but noted that it comes too late for Higgins House.

“I applaud the new money there, but I question why it took them a year to recognize the importance of this program,” she said….