Richmond targets the creation over 3,700 new child care spaces within 10 years
19 April 2021
The City of Richmond has unveiled a plan that will increase the number of licensed child care spaces in the City by over 50 per cent within 10 years, building further on the 21 per cent increase in child care spaces achieved since 2016.
The Richmond Child Care Action Plan was adopted by City Council on April 12 and outlines the current supply of child care spaces in Richmond, assesses the ongoing and future need for child care and provides targets and actions for the creation of new child care spaces within the next decade.
“Access to child care remains an issue for many families across the country,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Richmond has worked hard to significantly increase the number of child care spaces for families in our community with over 1,200 new spaces created in the past four years.
“Since 2018, the City of Richmond has opened three new City-owned child care facilities with another centre and two early childhood development hubs to open over the next two years. City Council is committed to working with our community partners and other levels of government to address the demand for this essential service in our community.”
The Action Plan was developed to expand on the actions from the City’s Child Care Needs Assessment Strategy released in 2017 and to guide future child care planning initiatives across the community. An emphasis on child care in Richmond has resulted in a 21 per cent increase in licensed child care spaces, from 5,802 in 2016 to 7,022 spaces in 2020. It also led to three new City-owned child care facilities opening, bringing the number of spaces for children from birth to school age in City-owned child care facilities to 384.
The City of Richmond currently owns 10 purpose-built child care facilities throughout the community, and an additional child care facility and two early childhood development hubs have been secured through rezoning processes and are currently under construction. These new facilities will add another 201 licensed child care spaces to Richmond’s child care supply within the next two years, increasing the number of child care spaces in City-owned facilities to 585 spaces.
The Richmond Child Care Action Plan was developed using demographic information of children and families across Richmond; as well as public and stakeholder input and a review of existing policies and guidelines related to child care development in the city. It outlines a target to create a net increase of 3,741 new child care spaces by 2031 that will include:
- 25 spaces per 100 children under the age of 36 months;
- 55 spaces per 100 children aged 30 months to school age; and
- 25 spaces per 100 school aged children.
The Plan also aims to create spaces for school age children that are on-site or within walking distance of all public and independent elementary schools in Richmond, and focuses on providing flexible, licensed child care for families who need part-time or intermittent child care or seek care during non-traditional hours due to employment.
The Richmond Child Care Action Plan supports the City’s goal of One Community Together and demonstrates its commitment to being a municipal leader in making comprehensive child care a reality for the community.
The plan was developed with support of a 2020 Community Child Care Planning Program Grant from the Union of BC Municipalities and can be found at https://www.richmond.ca/services/communitysocialdev/childcare/needs.htm.