Daycare and Preschool
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Towards more daycare in Saanich
Increasing the supply and options for daycare in Saanich has been a high priority of my term as mayor.
This started immediately after the election with a needs assessment. I formed a coalition of the six municipalities: North Saanich, Central Saanich, Highlands, Oak Bay, Saanich and Sidney to get a grant from the union of British Columbia municipalities of $150,000 for a daycare needs study. That study identified a shortfall of 2,400 daycare units. The Child Care Inventory and Action Plans are focused on realistic and achievable actions with measurable results to enable the partner municipalities and communities to create new child care spaces and improve access to affordable, quality child care. To address the needs identified I’ve used a couple of different strategies.
The first has been to facilitate all existing daycare operators. An example is that at the Lambrick Park Preschool& Childcare facility. I was directly involved in ensuring that they were able to relocate this much loved, essential family-supporting facility from its former location, which was closing, to a new location in Gordon Head Park, in the heritage building there. An important aspect for the families was to keep the daycare in the same area. Please see the video below and the endorsement from Meaghan Zunich. A smooth transition was also made possible by the daycare working with the team at TriEagle Development who donated generously toward the renovations needed at the new facility.
Separately, for new builds such as University Heights at Shelbourne and McKenzie and Metea, on Glanford, one of the community amenities that we asked for was to add a daycare. Those hundreds of new home units will have daycare and a medical clinic in the same building – enhancing the lives of families who can enjoy the benefits of a “15-minute neighbourhood”.
In addition we’ve worked with groups like the Francophone school and others to expedite the applications for daycare facilities on their campuses. I’ve also worked with First Nations and the Metis nation to ensure that their applications were expedited with success. I am the only mayor in the region has received endorsement from daycare groups.