More young learners in Burnaby will soon have access to cutting-edge classroom facilities.
University Highlands Elementary school will offer new learning space for almost 200 students on Burnaby Mountain when the doors open on a new two-storey expansion.
Located in UniverCity at Simon Fraser University, the school has added seven new elementary classrooms and one kindergarten classroom. The expansion creates a more modern environment for 195 students, giving them the positive, engaging and inspiring learning experience they deserve.
In addition to the new classrooms, the school expansion has helped create 27 new child care spaces. These bring the total of before- and after-school spaces at the school to 77.
“More and more families are coming to Burnaby, and as the population grows, we need to keep pace with the demand for quality early learning to build a strong, vibrant community where people want to stay and raise their kids,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Partnerships like this one are giving parents more options for high-quality learning environments for their kids, as well as the convenience that comes with having child care on school grounds.”
Started in late 2016, the project is a partnership between the Province, the Burnaby School District, Simon Fraser University (SFU) Childcare Society and SFU Community Trust. As well as the new classrooms, the expansion will add accessible washrooms and storage space to the school.
“As a district, we recognize the importance of child care to families in Burnaby and have been a leader for more than 35 years in enabling space in our schools and on our properties,” said Gary Wong, chair, Burnaby Board of Education. “We are grateful for our partnerships with the provincial government and the City of Burnaby, as well as those we have in the community. This helps us to support families with child care and also to give students the classroom learning environment and space they need to thrive.”
Government is working to add new student spaces in fast-growing communities to reduce the need for portables and provide permanent spaces for students. Since September 2017, the Province has announced nearly $650 million for new and expanded schools that are bringing almost 11,000 new student seats to schools throughout B.C.
“These new classrooms and child care spaces are giving more children the best chance to learn and thrive in Burnaby,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “They are a great example of the investments we’re making to build and expand schools in fast-growing communities throughout B.C.”
In addition to the new child care spaces at University Highlands, the SFU Childcare Society is receiving funding through the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to renovate an existing facility at 8888 University Dr. and create 12 new infant/toddler spaces, taking the total number of infant/toddler spaces at this location to 61. These new spaces are expected to open in March 2020 and add to the 311 licensed child care spaces for children under the age of 12 currently offered by the society.
“Inspired by the infant/toddler preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, the SFU Childcare Society values children, educators, families and the natural environment for the contributions they all bring to the space in which we live in community with one another,” said Rachel Day, executive director, SFU Childcare Society. “Through our mission of ‘leading excellence in early care and learning in a sustainable way,’ we consider ways in which we can shift from ‘thoughts of quality’ to creating conditions and values in which quality thrives.”
With these new spaces, the Province has funded more than 300 new, affordable licensed child care spaces in Burnaby since the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund launched in July 2018. They are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history, with more than 10,400 funded in the past 18 months.
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 City of Burnaby is receiving a $25,000 grant through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities’ Community Child Care Planning Grant Program to help create a long-term child care plan to support families in the community.
- Since launching in February 2018, the Childcare BC plan has helped parents in Burnaby save more than $18.3 million through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
- The Province has invested more than $13 million to provide more than 10,000 early childhood educators with a $1-per-hour wage enhancement, with another $1-per-hour lift coming in April 2020. This includes almost $775,000 for early childhood educators in Burnaby.
For more information about the Burnaby School District, visit: www.burnabyschools.ca
For more information about child care at Simon Fraser University, visit: http://www.sfu.ca/childcare.html
For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
For more information on child care in Burnaby, visit Burnaby/New Westminster Child Care Resource and Referral: