Burnaby City Council has recently approved funding to create 102 new child care spaces in the city as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting families in the community.
"Providing families access to safe, quality and affordable child care is a priority and the City is moving quickly to create more," Mayor Mike Hurley said. “Making it easier for families to get child care benefits all of us, ensuring people can get back to work and can find good child care close to home.”
The funding will create new child care spaces at:
- Christine Sinclair Community Centre - 65 spaces (24 for children 0 to 36 months, 41 for children 30 months to school age). City of Burnaby and RCMP staff will get priority, with remaining spaces offered to the wider community. It is expected to open in 2022.
- Brentwood Park Elementary - 37 child care spaces (12 for toddlers, 25 for three-to-five-year-olds. The site is part of the Burnaby School District’s proposed Neighbourhood Learning Centre program, which aims to create spaces for everyone to access education, community services, recreation and culture. If approved, the centre is expected to open in 2023.
“This partnership with the City of Burnaby will help meet the growing needs of families for child care, and it will help parents return to work or go back to school, to secure a better future for their families,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Since 2018, we have funded 1,520 child care spaces in Burnaby as part of our 10-year Childcare BC plan to ensure all B.C. families have access to quality, affordable child care.”
The child care spaces at Brentwood Elementary Park result from an ongoing partnership between the Burnaby School District and the City of Burnaby, with funding from the province to create new child care spaces on school sites across the community. Under the agreement, the City is responsible for contributing to capital cost of building the centres, while the school district provides the land, and manages construction of the projects.
The Province provided $2.28 million to create the new child care spaces at Christine Sinclair Community Centre and approximately $1 million to create the child care spaces at Brentwood Park elementary. Burnaby School District has also received $7 million in funding from the Province to create an additional 224 spaces throughout Burnaby elementary schools.
In 2020/21, 247 new child care spaces have been created so far or are underway.
“Burnaby families need everyone in the community to pull together to help provide additional much-needed child care spaces, and the partnerships that we have – such as with the City of Burnaby and Provincial Government – help us to make the most of what we can contribute as a school district,” said Jen Mezei, Chair of the Burnaby Board of Education. “We’re proud that for more than 35 years we’ve enabled space in our schools and on our properties for service providers to offer high-quality, inclusive child care and early learning opportunities to support local families.”
The City has also recently created a Burnaby Child Care Action Plan – a roadmap to support the creation of 4,412 additional child care spaces in Burnaby over the next 10 years.
The City aims to achieve this target by building on existing policies, allocating more resources and expanding partnerships.