More child-care spaces coming to Burnaby

The SFU Childcare Society is planning to open a new "living-building" modular with more child-care spaces, thanks to $500,000 in funding from the provincial government. 

The SFU Childcare Society, which operates 15 child-care programs on Burnaby Mountain, secured funding from the government's B.C. Early Years Strategy.

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The new spaces are part of the government's plan to provide 2,000 new spots in B.C. by 2016. There are roughly 107,000 government-supported child-care spaces in B.C.

Pat Frouws, the society's executive director, was pleased with the $500,000-grant, and she's hoping it's a sign that there's more to come.

"We haven't had any money in child care for years, no capital grants for years," Frouws said. "So this is a good sign, but there's been a drought for a while. ... Hopefully that's sign there's more for building a system, a system that will keep things stable."

Frouws would like to see the provincial government fund operating costs for child-care centres, so they can keep the fees reasonable for parents. Frouws said a family can expect to pay $1,000 a month in child-care fees for children three and under.

SFU Community Trust is also providing funding for the project, and Frouws is in talks with the Burnaby school district, as she's hoping to have the modular on the University Highlands Elementary school grounds. The living building concept means the modular would be constructed to rigorous environmental standards. Frouws estimated the modular would provide 24 to 48 child-care spaces for families connected to the elementary school or UniverCity development.

"We're hoping to relocate on the school grounds, by doing that we'll be able to offer more spaces there," she said.

Frouws' society is also calling for a $10-a-day child-care program in B.C., to make child care affordable for families.

Burnaby North MLA Richard Lee lauded the funding announcement in a government press release.

"Good child-care services help families maintain a healthy and well-balanced life," said Lee. "Through this funding, families in Burnaby can have more choices and support in taking care of their children."













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