Child care study planned for Coquitlam

City seeking $25,000 UBCM grant to investigate child care needs in the city

What kind of child care does Coqutilam need and where will it be are some of the questions asked if the city gets a $25,000 Union of BC Municipalities grant.

Monday, Coquitlam councillors approved a plan that could support families seeking daycare for their kids.

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The city wants to develop a child care strategy with the goal of creating more child care spaces in collaboration with other agencies and partners.

With council support and approval, the planning and development department will apply for the UBCM grant and will expect to hear within 90 days if it is successful.

Among the things Coquitlam can do with the funds is document existing facilities and programs, assess current and anticipated needs, establish targets for the creation of new child care spaces to meet unmet needs, figure out how to boost the number of spaces and update city policies to encourage the development of more child care spaces.

Councillors also raised issues about the need for outside play areas and how that might impact the development of new child care spaces as well as why some child care centres are closing and reducing capacity.

Without the grant, the city could still do some of the activities in the needs assessment but the overall scope of the plan would be scaled back, a report to council notes.

To get the necessary data, there will be online surveys for parents and child care providers, an open house to talk about the issues, visits to local child care centers, interviews with community partners, a workshop co-hosted jointly by the cities of Coqutilam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody and targeted interviews with parents and child care providers with unique needs and supports.

The target date for completing the strategy is early 2020.

The research is being done as School District 43 launches a task force to look into ways to promote more child care spaces in the region, the province pours more resources into child care and Port Coquitlam and Port Moody look into their own child care needs.



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