Input on Coquitlam child care strategy sought

Parents and caregivers invited to information sessions Oct. 24 and Oct. 26

Have concerns or issues about childcare? If so, the city of Coquitlam wants to hear from you.

Parents and caregivers are invited to share their child-care needs and ideas at one of two information sessions on Thursday, Oct. 24, 6-8 p.m. at the City Centre Aquatic Complex, 1210 Pinetree Way and Saturday, Oct. 26, 1-3 p.m at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex, 633 Poirier St.

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Community input gathered in-person during the information sessions, as well as responses to an online survey available until Friday, Nov. 1, will help inform Coquitlam’s Child Care Strategy.                                                

Both sessions are drop-in style and offer free childminding. Parents and caregivers of infants to school-aged children, as well as parents-to-be, are welcome to attend.

Those unable to attend the in-person sessions or wishing to provide input at their convenience, are invited to answer the online survey to share their child-care needs and challenges, and to provide input on potential options. 

The survey is available at www.coquitlam.ca/childcare until Friday, Nov. 1.

Coquitlam received a $25,000 grant this past spring from the provincial Community Child Care Planning Program through the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) to create a Child Care Strategy. 

The communities of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody have collaborated on the project since many Tri-Cities residents cross boundaries to access child care, school and other services.

Development of the Child Care Strategy also includes:

• An inventory of existing child-care spaces, service levels and types of programs in different neighbourhoods;

• Identification of short-, medium- and long-term targets for new spaces;

• A survey and site visits to child-care operators to collect input on expanding facilities and service levels to meet the community’s child-care needs; and

• Consultation with additional stakeholders, including Fraser Health, School District 43 and organizations that serve local families.

Coquitlam’s draft plan will be presented to council in early 2020.

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