Child Care Action Plan
In December 2020, Committee of Council received the Port Coquitlam Child Care Action Plan and would like to thank you for your participation in the development of the Action Plan, through the surveys, information sessions, and workshops. Your input assisted us in identifying child care gaps, challenges and opportunities in our community. All information gathered informed the recommendations presented in the Action Plan.
Key findings from this assessment include:
- 2,245 child care spaces for 8,380 children aged 0-12 years in Port Coquitlam, this equates to 27 spaces per 100 children.
- A greater need for more spaces in the infant-toddler and school age categories.
- Average monthly fees in Port Coquitlam for group care is $976 for infants, $735 for 3-5 year olds and $393 for school age; reported by YMCA Tri-Cities Child Care Resource and Referral.
- A need for facilities that accommodate shift workers with non-traditional hours and children who require additional support.
- Child care operators having difficulties finding qualified staff and suitable facility locations.
The Action Plan proposes the following targets for three age groups to guide future planning in creating additional child care spaces over the next 10 years:
- Infant/Toddler (under 3 years): 33 spaces per 100 children (currently 15 / 100 children)
- Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 75 spaces per 100 children (currently 44 / 100 children)
- School Agers (6 to 9 years): 42 spaces per 100 children (currently 14 / 100 children)
Recommended actions are grouped in four strategic priority areas:
- Increase Accessibility – through measures like a review of City regulations and policy and increased coordination with Fraser Health
- Improve Affordability – by, for example, providing municipal space and advocating for funding from senior levels of government
- Focus on Quality – by, for example, confirming a set of principles, criteria or guidelines to use when developing child care in municipal spaces or securing child care through development tools
- Develop Collaboration and Partnerships – through initiatives such as creating a Community Child Care Coordinator position in partnership with the School District, City of Coquitlam and City of Port Moody
In order to move forward on the Action Plan and find ways to reach the child care space targets identified, staff will bring forward an implementation report in the spring. This report will identify opportunities, such as bylaw and policy amendments to address local child care needs. Consideration will also be given to how the challenges of the pandemic are shifting child care needs and arrangements.
The City continues to participate on the School District 43’s Child Care Task Force.
Find out more about opening a child care facility in Port Coquitlam click here.