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HomeNewsQuesnel City Council moves to create more childcare spaces in the community.

Quesnel City Council moves to create more childcare spaces in the community.

Sarah Huebert, a researcher with the Social Planning and Research Council of BC, noted in the City of Quesnel’s Child Care Action Plan that the North Cariboo region has just 15.1 spaces per 100 children, well below the provincial average of 18.4…

“Through our calculations, in order to meet the BC average in the next five years, 86 new spaces would need to be added in the Quesnel School District served area.”

Huebert says a survey of parents backed up the idea that there was a shortage…

“Eight in ten respondents find that there is an inadequate supply of childcare in the city, and the main reason people need childcare is so they can go to work. Also, one in four parents indicated that their youngest child was on a wait list.”

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Huebert says they also did a survey of current childcare providers that provided a possible idea on how the city might be able to add more spaces…

“Over one third of respondents want to expand their current facility within the next two years. That’s really good news. But the other key finding was that childcare staffing challenges are huge.”

There was some talk at last week’s Council meeting about possible building a new facility, but Mayor Bob Simpson noted that that could hurt the current providers…

“A lot of the current childcare operators warned us that building new spaces is not the silver bullet, because if you can’t staff that new capacity you are actually potentially just going to rob staff from already tapped out facility.”

Simpson noted that you may be no further ahead with the amount of spaces you have.

In the end, Council chose to work with the current businesses to see if they can expand their programming.

Staff will begin reaching out to them in the coming weeks.

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