Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation explores integration of child care facilities in future residential projects

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      Families with young children spend a lot of money for daycare.

      In the Lower Mainland, the cost of child care comes second only to housing.

      “With limited available spaces,” according to a report, “families across Metro Vancouver can pay upwards of $1,400 per month per child for childcare, and low-income or single-parent families often find themselves with even fewer options for affordable child care.”

      Amina Yasin, a planner with the Metro Vancouver district government, authored the report.

      Yasin’s report talks about the potential integration of child care facilities in new regional public housing projects.

      The district owns and operates several housing developments in the region through the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation (MVHC).

      According to Yasin, the inclusion of child care facilities in new housing projects will support tenants.

      The regional planner noted that the region has an average of 18.6 child care spaces per 100 children aged 12 and under.

      “This is far below the national average of 27.2 spaces (2016) and is only slightly ahead of the BC average of 18.4 spaces (2016),” Yasin wrote.

      Moreover, the number of children (under the age of 12) in Metro Vancouver is “projected to grow by approximately 7.6% by 2024, further highlighting the need for additional child care spaces in the region”.

      Options for child care facilities include in-home daycares.

      “As MVHC’s mandate is solely focused on the provision of affordable housing, as a principle, integrated childcare facilities should be cost-neutral and leased to third-party operators (or approved, licensed tenants in the case of in-home daycare),” Yasin noted.

      Yasin related that the district has two existing child care agreements.

      One is with the Port Coquitlam Daycare Society, which operates at Meridian Village housing complex.

      The daycare is located in a standalone building, with about approximately 80 child care spaces.

      The second is with Patty’s Family Childcare. The licensed in-home multi-age child care operates at the Odlinwood townhouse complex in Richmond. It offers seven spaces for children.

      Yasin’s report is included in the agenda Wednesday (September 9) of Metro Vancouver’s housing committee.