Temporary home for PoMo daycare brings temporary relief

Parents of children attending a Port Moody daycare that is being displaced from Moody elementary school are finally able to enjoy the summer now that it has found a new home.

But they’re worried they may be going through the stress and turmoil again next spring.

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BrightPath Early Learning and Childcare Centre has secured a temporary home — until Feb. 28, 2018 — for 81 kids at the nearby Kyle Centre and the company says it is investing more than $1 million to build a facility in a new condo complex across from Moody elementary.

Cheri Keenan, whose daughter attends before- and after-school care at the centre, said while the temporary facility at Kyle Centre provides some immediate relief, there’s still uncertainty over what will happen next March.

“We’re OK now,” Keenan said. “After Feb. 28, we’re not sure where that leaves us.”

Parents of kids aged one to to 12 years were scrambling when BrightPath was informed by School District 43 that it needed the space the daycare had occupied for 15 years at Moody elementary for classrooms. After the daycare’s lease expired on June 30, it was able to move its programs to Moody middle school until Aug. 23. 

The school district agreed to accommodate out-of-school care for about 45 school-aged children in the gym and library back at Moody elementary for two months beyond that but parents of 49 younger kids were left in a lurch come the end of August.

“There was a lot of stress and anxiety,” Keenan said, adding daycare spaces are hard to come by in Port Moody.

She said some parents joined waiting lists or paid deposits to multiple daycares in the hopes at least one would come through that could accommodate their needs. Others were adjusting their own schedules to fit the availabilities at other daycares.

BrightPath also offered priority enrolment at its centres in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam for displaced kids from Port Moody.

“It’s been a little bit of a crazy ride,” Keenan said.

BrightPath CEO Mary Ann Curran concedes the transition hasn’t been easy.

“Our families have been very patient throughout this transition,” she said in a statement.

Curran said BrightPath is making “minor modifications” to its temporary space at Kyle Centre to meet Fraser Health licensing requirements and is working with the city to secure a development permit for its new home.

That facility will include distinct zones where children can explore interests in theatre, science, building, creativity and technology, an outdoor space with turf for year-round use, and a key-card swipe system for secure access.

That’s music to Keenan’s ears.

“It’s huge for the children, for their stability and comfort,” Keenan said. “We’re hopeful that it will be complete in time.”

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