MEDIA RELEASE: Registration Opens July 27 For New Preschool In Port Coquitlam
PORT COQUITLAM, BC – July 21, 2021… Port Coquitlam families can register July 27 for a new preschool opening this October at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC).
With construction of the PCCC wrapping up, Port Coquitlam is seeking Fraser Health approval for City Preschool – a City-run licensed preschool program for children ages three to five that would complement the City’s early learning programs and allowing qualified families to apply for provincial child care subsidies. Registration opens July 27 for Port Coquitlam residents and July 29 for non-residents through portcoquitlam.ca/register.
“Child care is not only important for the economic and social well-being of families, but it is critical for a robust local economy,” Mayor Brad West said. “We’re doing what we can to make Port Coquitlam even more family-friendly, and that includes providing more child care options for working parents. I know from firsthand experience, how challenging it is to find childcare options and I’m proud of the work the city is doing. The new licensed preschool will bring a new service to our community to help our existing residents and those moving into the developments under construction.”
The introductory session will offer three program options, each accommodating 16 children and running from 9:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from Oct. 4 to June 17 for $293 per month; Tuesdays and Thursdays from Oct. 5 to June 16 for $210 per month; and Saturdays from Oct. 2 to June 18 for $113.33 per month. An afternoon program is planned to begin in fall 2022.
Eligible individuals and families will be able to apply for support through the City’s Financial Assistance program. Learn more at portcoquitlam.ca/financialassistance.
The City expects high demand for the preschool. The City’s license-exempt two-hour playschool programs have waitlists, and 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.
“A new licensed preschool is very much needed and will be a great addition to the City’s existing early learning programs,” said Cllr. Steve Darling, the City’s designate for recreation matters. “By offering a variety of inclusive early learning opportunities, we’ll be providing parents with more choice to decide which program will best suit their child’s and family’s needs.”
Once licensed through Fraser Health’s provincial child care regulations, the PCCC preschool will employ staff with early childhood education and a licence to practice. Programming will support children’s physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social development.
Located on the main level of the PCCC, the bright Children’s Centre will include:
- 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 four-hour timeframes will give children the opportunity to learn routines and transition smoothly to Kindergarten, while the Saturday session will address non-traditional work hours and meet a greater variety of needs in the community.
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. Based on the success of the outside playschool during the pandemic, a similar program is now open for fall registration in 2021. The outdoor playschool will offer two-hour timeframes, with 60 licence-exempt spots available.
The combination of new and existing spaces will help the City reach the child care targets set out in the Port Coquitlam Child Care Action Plan completed last year.
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 recently supported policy and regulatory recommendations to encourage and facilitate the creation of more child care spaces. Policy changes and first and second readings of bylaw amendments will be considered at the July 27th Council meeting.
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Manager of Communications & Administrative Services
City of Port Coquitlam