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Survey of child-care spaces in Metro Vancouver shows 35% increase from 2019 to 2023

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Region now has about 25 spaces per 100 children aged 12 and under; still below national average of 29
Pawson, Chad
Publication Date: 
7 Apr 2024


Thousands of new child-care spaces were created in Metro Vancouver between 2019 and 2023, thanks to provincial and federal funding, however the ratio of spaces to the number of children still falls below the national average, according to a new report from the Lower Mainland's regional government.

In 2023, there were, on average, 25.1 spaces per 100 children under the age of 12, up from 2019 when there were 18.6,  according to the report. That compares with the national average of 29 spaces.


Sharon Gregson is a spokesperson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C., a membership-based group that advocates for an accessible, affordable child-care system. 

"Good news for families but still far from sufficient supply of quality, licensed child care to meet demand," Gregson said reacting to the report in an email to CBC News. 


Additional stand-alone child-care strategies from local governments also helped, along with zoning rules and financial incentives.

At the end of last year, 15 of Metro Vancouver's 21 municipalities had a local child-care plan, strategy or bylaw that outlines municipal policies for child care. In 2019, only eight of the municipalities had something in place.


"While the results from the 2023 survey show a positive outlook for child-care space creation in the region, local governments still face challenges to meet child-care needs including lack of funding, staffing shortages/wages, and persistent demand," wrote Ekeli.

Challenges also included a lack of funding to cover capital operational and maintenance costs of daycare centres.

Gregson said the province needs to go faster on meeting its $10-a-day promise and implement wage reforms for early childhood educators that would bring their earnings to between $30 and $40 per hour in order to attract and retain staff.