The City of Victoria is looking at implementing a city-wide Childcare Action Plan (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

City of Victoria looking into citywide Childcare Action Plan

Mayor Lisa Helps and Coun. Jeremy Loveday endorsing provincial plan

The City of Victoria is considering creating a citywide Childcare Action Plan, following a provincial announcement for over 400 new childcare spaces across Greater Victoria.

In a motion put forward by Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Coun. Jeremy Loveday, the City would endorse a $2.85 million fund to develop childcare strategies, which allows for eligible childcare projects to apply for a $25,000 grant. The city will then apply for one of these grants.

READ MORE: 439 new licensed child care spaces for Greater Victoria

“There’s an acute need for childcare for before and after school,” said Loveday. “We want to look at how we can better use city-owned facilities. For example, the city owns many rec centres; perhaps we can create more spaces in those city-owned facilities, there are a lot of different approaches.”

READ MORE: Fernwood daycare selected for $10 per day childcare pilot project

This motion comes after the province announced a $4.6 million investment through the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, which will see a partnership with the Greater Victoria School District and non-profit organizations to created 439 new childcare spaces at elementary schools across the capital region.

Following the application for the $25,000 grant, Loveday said the city could then apply for larger pots of funding.

READ MORE: Vic West to host childcare expansion pilot project

While there will be a mix of childcare options, Loveday hopes there will be a good mix of affordable childcare options included in the project to reach more families.

“We’re hoping to look at childcare across the province and capitalize on the provincial initiative to provide affordable childcare options,” Loveday said.

The idea will come forward for discussion at city council on Thursday, and the deadline for the application is Jan. 18, 2019.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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