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Second city-owned Early Childhood Development Hub opens

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 11:34 PDT, Wed July 27, 2022

The City of Richmond has officially opened its second Early Childhood Development (ECD) Hub. The Seedlings ECD Hub, located in the Brighouse area, provides 107 licensed child care spaces for infants, toddlers, and children up to 12 years of age.

An ECD Hub is different from traditional child care centres in that it houses programs for children as well as space for family strengthening services. Along with licensed child care programs, Seedlings provides space for child development services and family-strengthening programs through the use of a large multi-purpose room, ancillary office space, commercial kitchen, and outdoor amenity area.

“The City of Richmond remains dedicated to ensuring families have access to high-quality, affordable child care when they need it, and the addition of this Early Childhood Development Hub in the City Centre demonstrates an ongoing commitment to that priority,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Child care and support for families is vital for the social and economic well-being of the entire community, and the city continues to work in partnership with developers, not-for-profit agencies, and other levels of government to provide this much needed and valued service.”

The Seedlings ECD Hub is located at 6380 No. 3 Rd., and is the 12th city-owned, purpose-built child care facility in Richmond. It has approximately 1,765 square metres (19,000 sq. ft.) of indoor space and 1,051 square metres (11,300 sq. ft.) of outdoor area.

Keltic Development Ltd. provided the ECD Hub space as a community amenity contribution in its Paramount mixed-use development. The City of Richmond took ownership of the facility in December 2021, and the centre commenced operations in March 2022. It is now almost fully enrolled.

Aspire Richmond, formerly the Richmond Society for Community Living, was appointed as the operator of Seedlings ECD Hub through an open Expression of Interest process on BC Bid. The not-for-profit society received a grant to purchase furniture and equipment through the provincial ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund.

“Aspire Richmond is pleased to celebrate our 40th anniversary with the opening of Seedlings Early Childhood Development Hub,” said Shannon Crofton, chief executive officer of Aspire Richmond. “This new facility will support children and their families by providing safe, accessible, and inclusive childcare—a need that is only growing in our community. Aspire Richmond is grateful for the visionary partnership that the City of Richmond has provided in making this new centre a reality.”

“As a young parent, I cannot express how grateful I am for the nurturing care provided by child care centres like Seedlings,” said Richmond South Centre MLA Henry Yao. “I am proud of the actions our government is taking to reduce child care costs for families while investing in spaces in my community and beyond.”

The importance of creating child care spaces to support children’s growth and development and the needs of families in the community is highlighted in Richmond’s 2017-2022 Child Care Needs Assessment and Strategy. Working together with other levels of government is part of the city’s vision to continue to develop a comprehensive child care system, provide high-quality licensed care in Richmond’s neighbourhoods, and support the needs of Richmond families.

The 12 city-owned child care centres now provide 583 licensed spaces. The next city-owned facility is expected to open in fall 2022.

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