Families in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam will soon have access to 211 new licensed child care spaces as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to increasing child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“Mindful Kids Childcare will provide an environment that allows kids to safely explore and learn about the world on their own terms,” said Selina Robinson, MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville. “We’re supporting this facility with new funding so that more Coquitlam families can have access to child care that meets both parents and guardians’ needs, and kids’ needs.”
Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund is supporting the following four projects to create new licensed child care spaces for families:
- Westwood Montessori (Partington) – 106 spaces
- Kidscool Early Learning Centre – 40 spaces
- Mindful Kids Childcare – five spaces
- The Learning Experience Children’s Centre at Irvine Elementary school – 60 spaces
“By including 60 child care spaces in a new Irvine Elementary, we’re making sure that the facility can meet a broader spectrum of our community’s needs,” said Mike Farnworth, MLA for Port Coquitlam. “Having child care integrated into the school will make life easier for families and create a better-connected school community overall.”
Rick Glumac, MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam, said, “Our government is investing in new child care spaces because we know that when families have access to quality child care, the whole community benefits. By letting kids explore their world in different ways, including through learning in French and Halq’emeylem, Kidscool Early Learning Centre will provide a vibrant environment that is great for learning and growth.”
Recent changes made by government to the School Act will make it even easier for school boards to create and operate before- and after-school care. The changes will require school boards to prioritize space that is not being used for K-12 students for child care and encourage school boards to adopt an inclusive child care policy.
“For too long, families throughout B.C. have struggled to find quality, affordable child care close to home,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “We’re making it easier for child care to be delivered on school properties because children benefit when they spend more time in spaces that are already designed for enrichment and play, and families save time and money with one central drop-off location in their neighbourhoods.”
July 2020 marks the second anniversary of the launch of the New Spaces Fund, which has approved an average of 700 new spaces for funding each month. So far, nearly 16,800 new spaces have been funded throughout the province, helping parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.
“Providing quality, affordable and inclusive child care goes hand in hand with a strong, vibrant economy,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “By funding nearly 16,800 new licensed spaces throughout the province, our government is helping more parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities knowing that when they drop their kids off in the morning, they’ll get the nurturing support they need to grow and thrive.”
These new spaces are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history. An additional 4,100 spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, means that more than 20,900 new licensed spaces have been funded since July 2017.
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.
- This investment means 385 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam since July 2018.
- As the Province moves towards its “new normal” under COVID-19, child care capital builds may see unexpected delays.
- Once operational, child care providers will be required to follow guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health and BC Centre for Disease Control to keep staff and the families they serve safe and to limit the risk of transmission.
For information on health and safety standards for child care, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/ChildCareCovid-19Response
For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
To learn more about the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund
For more information on child care in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, visit the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, Tri-Cities Office: https://www.gv.ymca.ca/triccrr
To find child care in your community, view the online child care map: http://maps.gov.bc.ca/ess/hm/ccf/
Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430
For more information on the Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcareprototypesites
Two backgrounders follow.