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Vancouver city council approves motion to combine child-care spaces with housing for essential workers

Vancouver city council approved a motion for staff to find city-owned land that would become the site of future child-care spaces, as well as housing for essential workers.

At Wednesday’s Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities meeting, Councillors Mike Klassen and Lisa Dominato tabled a motion called, “Enabling the Rapid Deployment of Additional Child-care Spaces Combined with Essential Worker Housing in the City of Vancouver.” 

Coun. Klassen said Vancouver lacks about 15,000 child-care spaces for the overall demand. He said the idea is to build six-storey prefabricated buildings with child care on the first level and housing for early childhood educators above.

“The ability to try and live and work in the City of Vancouver is next to impossible if you don’t have available child care,” Klassen said. “We don’t want to have to force people to commute in from outside of the city. They should be able to work in the communities (where) they’re serving the public.”


Emily Mlieczko, the executive director of Early Childhood Educators of BC said in Vancouver, 45 per cent of managers or operators cannot hire the qualified staff they need due to the cost of housing.

“We have really seen how detrimental this has been to the overall system as we’ve seen so many early childhood educators, those qualified people move into a different area of work so that they can actually raise their families,” she said.

According to the motion, prefabricated construction that combines child care with residences above would expedite the availability of spaces and housing units by months or even years.

When asked how many child-care spaces the initiative would provide, Klassen said hundreds. The ABC councillor added that staff will prioritize neighbourhoods where there is an acute shortage of child-care spaces, such as East and South Vancouver.

“We need to really go to the communities where there’s really a lack of child care and focus on those areas,” he said.

Staff will now contact the school district and the province about funding options, before finding locations for these prefabricated buildings. Top Stories


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