A new stand-alone child care facility with 59 spaces is planned for Davie Jones Elementary in Pitt Meadows . (Mahbub Morshed/Davie Jones Elementary)

Fifty-nine new child care spaces to open up in Pitt Meadows

Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund will support SD42 in making slots available by March 2022

Pitt Meadows parents will have another option for child care thanks to provincial funding.

A new stand-alone facility with 59 spaces will open up at Davie Jones Elementary on Blakely Rd.

School District 42 will partner with YMCA of Greater Vancouver to operate the facility, which is expected to open by March 2022.

The spaces come courtesy of Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund. There will be 25 spaces for children aged three to five years, 10 spaces for preschool children, and 24 for school-aged children.

Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, said adding child care to school grounds is a win for everyone.

“The project will give kids a smoother transition into kindergarten and offer parents the convenience of a one-stop drop-off and pick-up location,” she said. “The YMCA’s inclusive, play-based curriculum will set children on a path to lifelong learning.”

READ MORE: Province announces 40 more child care spaces in Maple Ridge

The initiative will mean 78 new licensed child care spaces have been funded in Pitt Meadows since July 2018.

Recent changes made by government to the School Act will make it even easier for school boards to create and operate before- and after-school care. The changes will require school boards to prioritize space that is not being used for K-12 students for child care and encourage school boards to adopt an inclusive child care policy.

“For too long, families throughout B.C. have struggled to find quality, affordable child care close to home,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “We’re making it easier for child care to be delivered on school properties because children benefit when they spend more time in spaces that are already designed for enrichment and play, and families save time and money with one central drop-off location in their neighbourhoods.”

July 2020 marks the second anniversary of the launch of the New Spaces Fund, which has approved an average of 700 new spaces for funding each month. So far, nearly 16,800 new spaces have been funded throughout the province, helping parents return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.

For more information on child care in Pitt Meadows, visit the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Child Care Resource and Referral centre: https://www.comservice.bc.ca/programs-services/children-youth-family-services/childcare/childcare-resource-referral-program



ronan.p.odoherty@blackpress.ca

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