New West encourages more child care spaces; Waiting lists for child care common across Lower Mainland

Andrew Hopkins

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS1130) – Waiting lists for child care are common across the Lower Mainland, but some communities are attempting to fix the problem.

Almost three years after implementing its child care strategy, New Westminster has seen more than 320 additional spaces created. That’s a 27 per cent increase, and the City’s John Stark says one important step has been putting a person at city hall in charge of helping people set up new spots….

He points out the city has created a reserve fund to develop new child care facilities using density bonus revenues. Stark adds a share of parking revenues is also being put towards grants to improve existing child care operations and replace equipment.

The strategy was set up in 2009 after gathering feedback from more than 400 New Westminster parents.

“We looked at streamlining regulations, and eliminating those that really presented obstacles for, you know, potential child care providers,” explains Stark.

New Westminster now has more than 1,500 childcare spaces.