Tuesday, June 16, 2020

150 new childcare spaces required per year over the next decade in Langley City

Most parents know that it is difficult to find childcare spaces. This is not a Langley-specific issue, it is an issue throughout the province. To better quantify this challenge and determine steps forwards, the provincial government in partnership with the Union of BC Municipalities made funding available for municipalities to complete childcare action plans.

Langley City received $25,000 to complete a Child Care Action Plan for our community. This action plan is now complete, and it was presented to Langley City council for endorsement.

Human Early Learning Partnership. Early Development Instrument report. Wave 7 Community Profile. Select image to enlarge.

Researchers from UBC created an Early Development Instrument report for children in BC. They found that 46% of children that live in the northern section of Langley City are vulnerable, this is higher than the provincial rate. Children in this part of Langley would significantly benefit from childcare spaces and programming.

Currently, there are only 27 childcare spaces available for every 100 children under the age of 3 in Langley City. There are 55 childcare spaces for every 100 children between the ages of 3 and 5, and 12 childcare spaces for every 100 children between the ages of 6 and 12.

By 2030, the target for Langley City is to have 70 childcare spaces for every 100 children under the age of 6, and 55 childcare spaces for every 100 children between the ages of 6 and 12.

This means that around 150 new childcare spaces will need to be created each year over the next decade. This is a significant number.

To get to this number, there are 24 action items contained in the plan, grouped into the following six categories:

  1. To improve childcare affordability.
  2. To increase the number of quality licensed spaces.
  3. To strengthen partnerships and collaboration.
  4. To explore strategies to address staffing challenges.
  5. To review existing before and after-school programming and identify areas for expansion.
  6. To monitor data and understand how childcare needs change over time.

This action plan was endorsed by Langley City council yesterday afternoon. While the City can help support the provisioning of childcare spaces in our community through being a facilitator and by ensuring we have supportive land-use and zoning policies, it will take significant funding from the provincial government to increase the number of childcare spaces in Langley City.

For more information, please read the full “Langley City Child Care Action Plan.

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