First Graduation for the City’s New Preschool Program
Port Coquitlam, BC – June 14, 2022…28 preschool children have graduated from the City’s new preschool program today that opened in October of 2021 at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC).
The City Preschool – a City-run licensed preschool program for children ages three to five complements the City’s early learning programs and allows qualified families to apply for provincial child care subsidies.
“The first preschool program has been a great success. I am proud of how we continue to work hard to make Port Coquitlam even more family-friendly, and that includes expanding more child care options for working parents.” Mayor Brad West said. “The new licensed preschool provides a positive and nurturing early learning experience while supporting children as they prepare to learn classroom routines, make friendships and gain independence as they transition to kindergarten. It is a great program for parents in our community.”
The success of the preschool has allowed for the program to expand and offer an afternoon preschool class for the 2022/2023 year. The classes have three program options, each accommodating 16 children – new this year Tuesdays and Thursdays (few spaces available) 2:00 to 5:00 p.m from Sept. 13 to June 22 for $190 per month. The morning programs: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. from Sept.12 to June 23 for $315 per month and Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m from Sept. 13 to June 22 for $220 per month are full.
The City has had a high demand for the preschool. A total of 40 families are on waitlists for the 2022/2023 classes. Registration for the 2023/24 year opens for registration in Feb. 2023.
Local parents have been asking for a licensed program to qualify for B.C.’s Affordable Child Care Benefit, as well as longer child care hours while they work from home. A 2017 Tri-Cities Child Care Needs Assessment found program licensing was a major factor in parents’ choice of child care.
Eligible individuals and families can apply for support through the City’s Financial Assistance program. Learn more at portcoquitlam.ca/financialassistance.
“It’s been a great addition to the City’s existing early learning programs in our community,” said Cllr. Steve Darling, the City’s designate for recreation matters. “We are excited to continue to promote the healthy growth and development of children in these programs.
The PCCC preschool program employs staff with early childhood education and a licence to practice. Programming supports children’s physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social development.
Located on the main level of the PCCC, the bright Children’s Centre includes:
- Three flexible programming spaces with storage cubbies
- A fenced playground
- A waiting area
- A kitchen
- Access to indoor amenities including the leisure pool, ice arena, gymnasium and multi-purpose spaces; and
- Access to outdoor amenities including a community garden, sport courts, adventure playground and spray park.
The three- and four-hour timeframes give children the opportunity to learn routines and transition smoothly to Kindergarten.
PCCC will also offer a childminding service and a Playmania program, at which parents and children can socialize and play in the new gymnasium. All children’s programs are inclusive and offered in accessible spaces for children with diverse needs and abilities.
On the City’s north side, Hyde Creek Recreation Centre will continue to offer its popular recreational playschool. The outdoor playschool will offer two-hour timeframes, with 54 licence-exempt spots available in 3 morning classes.
The combination of new and existing spaces continues to help the City reach the child care targets set out in the Port Coquitlam Child Care Action Plan.
The plan looked at child care needs in the community, established child care space creation targets and identified a range of related proposed actions. As part of this work, Committee of Council supported the policy and regulatory recommendations to encourage and facilitate the creation of more child care spaces.
Manager of Communications & Administrative Services
City of Port Coquitlam