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Richmond aims to double child care spaces

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:29 PDT, Mon April 19, 2021

Last Updated: 10:29 PDT, Mon April 19, 2021

Richmond is looking to double the number of licensed child care spaces in the city during the next decade.

Adopted by city council April 12, the Richmond Child Care Action Plan builds on the City’s Child Care Needs Assessment Strategy of 2017 which has seen the number of child care spaces increase by 21 per cent in the last five years.

“Access to child care remains an issue for many families across the country,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Richmond has worked hard to significantly increase the number of child care spaces for families in our community with over 1,200 new spaces created in the past four years.”

Brodie noted that since 2018, Richmond has opened three new city-owned child care facilities with another centre and two early childhood development hubs to open over the next two years. He said council is committed to working with community partners and other levels of government to address the continuing demand.

The number of licensed child care spaces in Richmond grew from 5,802 in 2016 to 7,022 spaces in 2020, while the number of facilities has reached 384.

The city currently owns 10 purpose-built child care facilities throughout the community. The new facilities will add another 201 licensed child care spaces to Richmond’s child care supply within the next two years, increasing the number of child care spaces in city-owned facilities to 585 spaces.

The Richmond Child Care Action Plan was developed using demographic information of children and families across Richmond; as well as public and stakeholder input and a review of existing policies and guidelines related to child care development in the city. It outlines a target to create a net increase of 3,741 new child care spaces by 2031 that will include:

  • 25 spaces per 100 children under the age of 36 months;
  • 55 spaces per 100 children aged 30 months to school age; and
  • 25 spaces per 100 school aged children.

The plan also aims to create spaces for school age children that are on-site or within walking distance of all public and independent elementary schools in Richmond, and focuses on providing flexible, licensed child care for families who need part-time or intermittent child care or seek care during non-traditional hours due to employment.

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