2nd try for daycare in schools

Port Moody trustee pushes for district/city cooperation on daycare file but it's not known when this motion will be debated

Should cities and school boards get involved in providing daycare at schools?

That’s the question a Port Moody trustee would like answered in a notice of motion at Tuesday’s board of education meeting.

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“We don’t need to spend the money, we just need to provide the land,” Trustee Lisa Park told the Tri-City News.

In her motion — which has yet to be discussed by the board — Park asks for SD43 to look at the model used by Burnaby school district to get more daycares on school sites. In Burnaby, the district is working with city council to erect modular buildings to accommodate daycares for 100 children at school sites with $6 million in density bonus money from the city.

Park said she confirmed the program at a recent Burnaby school board meeting and said other districts have similar arrangements.

But she may have trouble getting her motion passed and it’s unknown when it will be discussed.

Upcoming board meetings will be on budget issues only and the last time a motion to strike up discussions between the board and their Tri-City council colleagues as well as provincial and federal counterparts on daycare, it was not passed.

At the time, it was decided the district didn’t have the ability and lacked information on the provincial government’s daycare plan.

Recently, the province announced increased daycare subsidies for low-income families, a fee reduction at daycares that opt in to the plan and money for 22,000 new child care spaces.

In a Feb. 20 report, SD43 stated there are 23 daycares, 32 before- and after-school programs, 21 pre-schools and 11 city-run after-school programs in 46 elementary schools — but no more can be accommodated because space is needed for classes.

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