Vancouver expects to surpass target for 1,000 new child care spaces
Published Friday, January 5, 2018 10:36AM PST
Last Updated Friday, January 5, 2018 12:55PM PST
A four-year plan to provide 1,000 new child care spaces for Vancouver parents is well ahead of schedule, according to the mayor.
Gregor Robertson's office said the city has delivered 982 spaces since setting its target three years ago, and expects to surpass its initial goal by introducing 111 more in 2018.
“We need to do all we can to make sure that families across our city have access to affordable and high-quality early education and child care," Robertson said on his website.
"With a new BC government that has signalled they’re committed to investing in and expanding affordable child care, I’m confident that we’re going to see a big boost for new child care in the years ahead.”
Vancouver’s 2018 budget provides $24 million in funding for child care projects, including new facilities downtown and in the Marpole and Kitsilano neighbourhoods.
But finding affordable child care is still a struggle for many parents, many of whom have been complaining about the problem for years. A study published last month by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found Vancouver's child care costs are among the highest in Canada, second only to Toronto.
According to the study, the median cost of care for toddlers is nearly $1,300 a month, which is just slightly less than the median cost of $1,360 for infants.
And there are huge waitlists at daycare facilities across Vancouver, including Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, which says it won’t be opening up enrollment again until the summer.
The situation has left many parents feeling fortunate if they’re able to secure a spot at all. Dave Strajt told CTV News he had to bounce his son around to three daycares before getting him into Kiwassa.
"We lost a spot at our first daycare so had to move him to another daycare. That one didn't really work out so then we were lucky to [have] a spot come open here," he said.
On top of its four-year plan, Vancouver is partnering with the province to fund 175 licensed spaces for children under three years old and 50 replacement spaces for preschool and school-aged care, according to Robertson's office.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Breanna Karstens-Smith