Richmond parents to benefit from new child care spaces

FAMILIES in Richmond will have access to more than 400 new licensed child care spaces as part of the Province’s ongoing commitment to increasing access to child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 

“Creating new child care spaces is one of the ways we are making life better for families in Richmond,” said Henry Yao, MLA for Richmond South Centre, on Thursday. “Through this investment, more parents will be able to go back to work or school, knowing their children are being cared for in a safe and educational environment.”

The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund is supporting seven projects to create 403 new licensed child care spaces in Richmond. These spaces are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.’s history and were part of the September 2020 milestone that marked more than 20,000 new spaces funded throughout the province in just over two years.

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our commitment to building a universal and inclusive child care system remains as strong as ever,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “These new child care spaces in Richmond are bringing us one step closer to delivering the quality, affordable and inclusive child care that all B.C. families deserve.”

Families will be able to access new child care spaces at the following child care centres:   

  • F.A. Tomsett Elementary School Child Care (42 spaces)
  • Sprouts Child Care Centre (77 spaces)
  • Hummingbird Child Care Centre (37 spaces)
  • Seedings Early Childhood Development Hub (77 spaces)
  • Aves Flow (42 spaces)
  • Academics preKindergarten YVR (72 spaces)
  • Willowbrae Childcare Academy South Richmond (56 spaces)

“The City of Richmond is committed to being a leader in fostering a comprehensive, high-quality child care system throughout the community and has demonstrated success working with developers to create centres to support this,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “By working with not-for-profit child care operators, developers, the Richmond School District and provincial government, the city has been able to enhance access to child care for families across Richmond, and these new centres are examples of that partnership in action.”

An additional 4,110 spaces, funded through the 2017 Budget Update and the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the Government of Canada, takes the total number of new, licensed spaces funded in B.C. to more than 24,500 since July 2017.

F.A. Tomsett Elementary School Child Care
School District 38 (Richmond) is building a new facility at F.A. Tomsett Elementary school that will create 42 new licensed child care spaces, including 24 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten and 18 school-age spaces. The child care centre will open in early 2022. It will complement existing infant/toddler child care offered at the nearby Colts Young Parent Program at Richmond Secondary school and other pre-kindergarten and before- and after-school child care operating within Richmond schools.

Sprouts Child Care Centre
The YMCA of Greater Vancouver will run the Sprouts Early Childhood Development Hub. The hub will offer a total of 77 new licensed child care spaces, including 12 spaces for infants and toddlers, 25 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten, 20 preschool spaces and 20 school-age spaces. The centre will welcome Indigenous Elders for storytelling, art activities and family gatherings. Where possible, the YMCA matches staff to children who speak the same first language and invites parents to share cultural traditions. The child care centre is expected to open in spring 2021.

Hummingbird Child Care Centre
A new child care facility on Pearson Way in Richmond will open in spring 2022. The YMCA of Greater Vancouver will operate the Hummingbird Child Care Centre, which will have a total of 37 new licensed child care spaces, including 12 spaces for infants and toddlers and 25 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten. Once operational, the facility will offer practicum placements for students who are studying to become early childhood educators. 

Seedlings Early Childhood Development Hub
The Richmond Society of Community Living will run the Seedlings Early Childhood Development Hub, which is set to open in early 2022. The facility will provide a total of 77 new licensed child care spaces, including 12 spaces for infants and toddlers, 25 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten, 10 preschool spaces and 30 school-age spaces. Seedlings will connect families to intervention services, including infant development, supported child development, occupational/physical/speech therapy, social work and the BC Centre for Ability.

Aves Flow
A new child care facility in the London Landings neighbourhood of Steveston will open later this year. Aves Flow will create a total of 42 new licensed child care spaces, including 20 spaces for infants and toddlers and 22 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten. The facility will offer a parent education program, a young parent mentorship program and an early childhood educator program to staff and qualifying families, free of charge. Additionally, intergenerational programming will be offered through a partnership with the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Multi-Level Care Society.

Academics preKindergarten YVR
The new Academics preKindergarten YVR child care centre will include universal accessibility features and offer a total of 72 new licensed child care spaces, including 32 spaces for infants and toddlers and 40 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten. The centre will offer services in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Punjabi and will reserve up to six child care spaces a year for refugee families. Early childhood educator training and practicum placements will be offered to immigrants interested in pursuing a career in child care. The centre is expected to open in early 2021.

Willowbrae Childcare Academy South Richmond
In June 2021, a total of 56 new licensed child care spaces will open at Willowbrae Childcare Academy South Richmond, including 24 spaces for infants and toddlers and 32 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten. The facility has accessible parking, automatic push-button doors and an accessible washroom. The classrooms and playgrounds are designed to focus on the children’s needs. In addition, the facility uses BC Aboriginal Childcare Society’s Cultural kits to support the teaching of Indigenous knowledge, values and cultural practices.