Child and Family Development Minister Katrina Chen, MP Dan Ruimy and Mayor Mike Morden announce new child care centre in Maple Ridge. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

$1 million for new child-care centre in Maple Ridge

Will be part of new Albion Community Centre

Maple Ridge is getting a $1-million boost for child care services at the new Albion Community Centre, thanks to the senior governments.

Federal and provincial politicians stopped into Maple Ridge on Tuesday to announce the award that will allow the city to build a daycare facility into the new community centre, which has just started construction.

The child care centre will provide 12 spaces for infants and toddlers and will be located next to the new c’usqunela elementary, which opens in September.

In addition, c’usquenela elementary will also offer daycare and preschool care for kids under five.

“For young families, there’s a huge benefit to having siblings in close proximity as they transition from early child care to daycare, pre-school and elementary school. It creates a strong sense of community and will alleviate parents from having multiple pickup and drop-offs every day,” Mayor Mike Morden said in a release.

“This is how we grow strong, resilient citizens who are connected to the community and each other,” he added at the announcement in Memorial Peace Park.

The money will bring affordable and accessible licensed child care to Maple Ridge, Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission, said in a release.

The extra spaces will make morning routines easier, added Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge looks at more grant dollars

Some of the money comes from the federal government via the B.C.-Canada Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, in which the province receives $50 million a year, said Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge MP Dan Ruimy.

Sod turning on the new Albion Community Centre, which will cost about $18 million, took place last month, with construction to be complete in late 2020.

Maple Ridge, earlier this year, applied to the Community Child Care Space Creation Program for the $1-million grant.

The intent of that program is to help cities pay for the costs of creating daycare space in their facilities.

The city is also seeking other grants, such as the federal/provincial grant Community, Culture and Recreation Program, which could yield another $5 million.

Under the latter program, the city could apply for up to 73 per cent of the cost of a project, but is more likely to get a smaller amount, possibly up to $3 million.

Minister of Children and Family Development Katrina Chen said Tuesday’s announcement shows that all three levels of government can work together “to build long-lasting, public sector child care spaces.”



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

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