The province is funding the creation of 508 new licensed child care spaces in Delta and Surrey.
Nine projects — two in Delta and seven in Surrey — are receiving funding via Childcare BC’s New Spaces Fund to create a total of 156 infant/toddler spaces, 294 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten, 20 preschool spaces, 30 school-age spaces and eight multi-age spaces.
Fifty-six of those spaces are set to open in Delta — 40 at Alphabetz Daycare in North Delta and 16 at South Delta Wee Clubhouse in Ladner.
Alphabetz Daycare will provide child care spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten. The facility, which is expected to open this fall, will include two 279 sq.-m. (3,000 sq.-ft.) classrooms, five accessible washrooms, a full kitchen and a playground.
The facility will be run by the Surrey-based Iqra Education Society, a non-profit charitable organization committed to “the development and delivery of top quality educational services that honor and promote moderate mainstream Islamic values,” according to the group’s website.
“This project would not have been possible without the financial support of Childcare BC’s New Space’s Fund. With their support, we were able to get this project off the ground and focus on children and their families,” Bassam Abun-Nadi, assistant operations manager at Alphabetz Daycare, said in a press release.
Meanwhile, funding granted to South Delta Wee Clubhouse will be used to renovate part of the Savior Lutheran Church in Ladner to create eight new spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten and new eight multi-age spaces to service the needs of local health-care professionals.
Programming at the facility includes animal and environmental conservation, such as growing pumpkins and hands-on experiences with wildlife groups like the Vancouver Aquarium and the Yogi Street Dog Rescue Society.
“We are so proud to have started a centre that provides child care in our community. Creating a warm and natural space for children to thrive has been an amazing experience for all the educators at my centre. We will continue to learn and grow each day as we follow the lead of the children’s natural curiosity,” South Delta Wee Clubhouse owner Katie Gordon-Carmichael said in a press release.
Surrey projects receiving funding include Rothewood Academy (172 spaces), CEFA South Surrey Morgan Crossing (90 spaces), Baby Acorns (eight spaces), Gobind Sarvar Preschool & Afterschool Care (50 spaces), Octopus Academy Surrey (14 spaces), Tiny Hoppers Early Learning South Surrey (90 spaces) and Al-Kawthar Childcare Centre (28 spaces).
This month marks the second anniversary of the launch of the New Spaces Fund, which has approved an average of 700 new spaces for funding each month. Nearly 16,800 new spaces have been funded throughout the province since July 2018, including 378 in Delta and 1,421 in Surrey.
“For far too long, families in Delta have struggled to access child care,” Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon said in a press release. “The announcement of new child care spaces across Delta means more families will have access to this vital service.”
“We know when families are unable to afford child care, parents, most often women, leave the workforce to provide child care themselves,” Kahlon said. “Investing in child care spaces in Delta is not only an investment in our children, it is an investment in our entire community because it allows parents to participate in our community and economy.”