Families in Port Coquitlam will soon have access to 45 new licensed child care spaces at a new affordable housing complex, as part of the Province’s commitment to increasing access to quality, affordable child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“Finding affordable child care and affordable housing are two of the biggest obstacles families in the Tri-Cities face,” said Mike Farnworth, MLA for Port Coquitlam. “By partnering with Atira Women’s Resource Society, we’re helping to ensure families have a safe, central place to live and children have a nurturing environment to learn and grow.”
Through the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund and in partnership with BC Housing, the Province is supporting Atira Women’s Resource Society to create 12 infant/toddler spaces, 25 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten and eight multi-age spaces at the Alex, a new affordable housing complex. The complex will provide 83 rental homes for women and children and women-headed families in the Tri-Cities area.
Located at 2117 and 2121 Prairie Ave. and 3235 Flint St., the project includes a child care facility that will offer priority access to children living at the complex, in the immediate neighbourhood, citizens of the Kwikwetlem Nation and children attending Kwayhquitlam middle school. The Alex is scheduled to be completed in spring 2022.
“Atira is excited to include an early care and learning centre at the Alex, a centre that will integrate cultural competency and equity in its programming, and focus on reconciliation,” said Janice Abbott, CEO, Atira. “It is vital, now more than ever, to understand the importance of equity and inclusion in our education system, and we are thrilled the Province has provided us with the opportunity to build such a program in the Tri-Cities.”
The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund has provided funding for more than 700 new spaces each month, on average. To date, the Province has funded more than 20,000 new spaces throughout the province, helping parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities to help support their families.
“As a parent, I understand how hard it can be to find affordable child care close to home," said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. "This new facility will make it easier for mothers to pursue their own goals by returning to work or school, all while being part of B.C.’s economic recovery.”
An additional 4,110 child care spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, takes the total to more than 24,500 spaces since July 2017.
- This investment means 142 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in Port Coquitlam since July 2018.
- As the Province moves towards its “new normal” under COVID-19, child care capital builds may have 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
For more information on child care in Port Coquitlam, visit: https://www.gv.ymca.ca/triccrr
A backgrounder follows.