A new community development will bring licensed child care spaces to Maple Ridge, offering a range of care options for young children and making morning routines easier by giving parents one convenient location to drop off and pick up their children.
“The Government of Canada is pleased to work with the Government of British Columbia to make high-quality early learning and child care accessible to more families,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
The City of Maple Ridge is receiving $1 million to build a new child care centre, which will have 12 spaces for infants and toddlers – some of the most in-demand spaces in the province. This facility will be part of a new community centre that will be co-located with the new South Albion Elementary school.
“This investment will bring more affordable and accessible licensed child care to families in Maple Ridge,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission. “By partnering with the city, we are delivering better services for people. Parents accessing this new facility will be able to easily pickup and drop-off their kids at one safe and convenient location.”
In addition to the infant and toddler spaces, the elementary school will offer daycare and preschool for children under five.
“Every parent wants the best possible care for their child. As a working mom with a young daughter, I know the challenges families are facing,” said Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows. “This expansion in licensed child care spaces will make morning routines easier for families in Maple Ridge.”
The child care centre will partner with the neighbouring elementary school to offer children access to school facilities, such as the library, playground and gym.
“These new child care spaces are very important for families in this fast growing neighbourhood,” said Mike Morden, mayor of Maple Ridge. “The Albion Community Centre is co-located by the new elementary school. For young families, there’s a huge benefit to having siblings in close proximity as they transition from early child care to daycare, preschool and elementary school. It creates a strong sense of community and will alleviate parents from having multiple pickup and drops-offs every day. This is a great investment in the neighbourhood and our city.”
The centre will teach children about Indigenous culture through activities such as story time and traditional songs and dance, and will also be fully accessible to ensure that children with extra support needs are able to fully participate in programming.
“Creating quality spaces where our children can learn and grow is a crucial step in supporting local families,” added Dan Ruimy, MP for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge. “Today’s announcement will make it easier for parents in our community to help their little ones get the bright start they deserve.”
The city expects the child care centre to be open by late 2020.
“We believe that B.C. parents have a right to quality, affordable child care, and this project is a great example of what we can achieve when all three levels of government work together to build long-lasting public sector child care spaces,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “The city is leveraging the strong partnerships that it has with the school district and other community organizations to make this project a reality. We encourage other local governments to take inspiration from this project and join with us to find innovative solutions to meet the needs of their communities.”
In March 2019, the Province announced that the City of Maple Ridge is one of more than 70 local governments that are receiving up to $25,000 to create a long-term child care plan that will meet the needs of local families for the next 10 years. These plans will be completed over the coming months, with local governments also able to apply for federal and provincial funding to build licensed child care spaces. Since July 2018, more than 5,000 new licensed child care spaces throughout B.C. have been funded, with more being approved every month.
Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- The Community Child Care Space Creation Program is funded through the Early Care and Learning Agreement with the Government of Canada.
- The program is administered by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, with up to $1 million to create new licensed child care spaces in communities.
- The focus for this funding is on creating infant and toddler spaces, as well as those that support underserved communities.
- The Community Child Care Planning Grant program provides up to $25,000 for local governments to assess and plan for the creation of new child care spaces that meet the needs of local families.
- Under the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, public sector organizations are eligible for up to $1 million to support the creation of new licensed child care spaces.
- The Start-up Grant progam offers up to $4,500 to support individuals and unlicensed child care providers with the cost of becoming licensed.
For more information about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
To find child care in a community, view the online child care map: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/
Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430
Parents who need information about choosing child care, or want a list of registered and licensed child care centres in their area, can get help through their local Child Care Resource and Referral Centre or by visiting: www.ccrr.bc.ca/