The City of Vancouver on Thursday announced the opening of a childcare centre in Kitsilano that will provide 49 full-time spaces for children under four, 16 preschool spaces and 20 spaces of before and after school care for Tennyson students.
The childcare centre features an expansive outdoor play area and flexible programming space located on the third floor of the newly constructed, seismically safe Lord Tennyson Elementary School.
The childcare facility was created in partnership with the Vancouver School Board and the Province and will be operated by Kitsilano Neighbourhood House, a non-profit operator that is part of the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of British Columbia.
“The opening of the childcare space at Lord Tennyson Elementary School is the result of the City’s decade-long partnership with the Vancouver School Board. It will provide childcare to support the next generation to thrive, help new parents as they return to work, and avoid unnecessary trips by car,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.
“This is the second childcare facility that the City has co-located with a school. This approach helps us build communities that are more walkable and family-friendly which is one more way we’re making sure Vancouver is a city that works for everyone,” added Stewart.
“When parents can count on access to affordable, quality and inclusive child care, they are better able to put down roots and plan for their family’s future rather than stressing about how to cope with their children’s care for the coming week,” said George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview. “Building child care into schools is one way we are delivering the supports busy families need in cities like Vancouver, where space is also at a premium.”
“The Lord Tennyson Childcare Centre is a space where individuals can share their skills, strengths and knowledge to work together to create meaningful experiences for children. Addressing the high demand for childcare, Kits House is pleased to be working with the City to bring additional services to more families on the Westside with our long term commitment to families and children,” said Diane Peters, Director of Child, Family and Youth Programs with Kitsilano Neighbourhood House.
The childcare centre received $8.3 million in City funding, covered in part by Community Amenity Contributions (CACs) and Development Cost Levies (DCLs), as well as $500,000 from the Province’s Childcare BC New Spaces Fund.
CACs are in-kind or cash contributions provided by property developers when City Council grants development rights through rezoning, and a DCL is paid by property developers based on square footage of the space they are building.
CACs and DLCs play an important role in the delivery of public amenities and infrastructure, such as childcare, affordable housing, parks, cultural facilities, and community facilities, accommodating growth while ensuring the city’s livability.
The City says it recognizes the importance of accessible, quality childcare for both childhood development and affordable living for Vancouver parents. The City’s partnership with the Vancouver School Board and non-profit organizations will continue to deliver accessible care and opportunities for play, learning, and connection to Vancouver families.
These 85 new spaces are the first of approximately 275 new City facilitated childcare spaces slated to open in Vancouver in the first six months of 2021. The City says it is committed to providing more affordable childcare spaces with the goal of enabling equitable opportunities for women, which in turn leads to increased economic development.