More child care spaces are coming to Clayton.
Surrey Schools announced Sept. 22 the former Clayton Elementary School will be transformed into a childcare facility.
“For many families in our district, access to high-quality, affordable child care is critical,” Laurie Larsen, chair of the Surrey Board of Education, said in a press release.
Larsen said immediately after the school year ended, the school board approved a motion to repurpose the Clayton Elementary site to “support the child care needs” of those in the area.
“This property’s setting lends itself to early childhood education opportunities,” added Larsen. “If we could repurpose the site for child care, it would be a great addition to the community, while also allowing our district to hold on to the land in the event we need to increase K-7 capacity here in the future.”
Next steps for the initiative include a review of the site and a recommendation on what needs to be done in order to prep the buildings and land for childcare.
Surrey Schools will also look into different funding options, including at the provincial level.
“As trustees, we know first-hand how profoundly and positively early learning and care programs shape children’s and families’ lives,” said Larsen. “We are hopeful that with the assistance of the provincial government, we can support families with child care needs, build community connectivity, and enhance the overall health and well-being of our community.”
Surrey Schools has worked over the past few years to make child care and early education top priorities in the city. Currently, 62 schools provide either before and after school care, or preschool. All of the programs are run by third-party operators amounting to 1,826 licensed childcare spaces.