From Rachel Mattiuz, Administrative Assistant to the Mayor, District of Saanich:
Saanich, BC – The District of Saanich has partnered with the municipalities of North Saanich, Central Saanich, Highlands, Oak Bay and Sidney to develop a community child care inventory and gap analysis.
“I’m delighted the six mayors and councils on the peninsula from Oak Bay to North Saanich have combined resources for a collaborative approach to deliver results for our residents through this important analysis,” said Mayor Fred Haynes. “We all hear from young families in our communities that the chronic shortage of child care causes significant problems and negatively affects their quality of life. We aim to improve child care services across the region reducing stress on families and the economy.“
The six municipalities have hired Queenswood Consulting Group to lead a series of workshops and public engagement opportunities to gather information about existing childcare resources in the region. Queenswood will work with direct child care providers and families to understand the challenges and opportunities of providing services.
The following types of child care services will be included in the analysis:
- Group child care (under 36 months to school age)
- Group child care (school age including after school or school closure care)
- Family child care
- Occasional child care
- Multi-age child care
- In-home multi-age care
The analysis will establish an inventory of existing services and a dynamic action plan aimed at enhancing and expanding services to families in each of the six municipalities. The action plan will recommend ways to provide more daycare spaces in order to reduce travel time for families. Each municipality will support the recommendations in a way that is responsive and sustainable for their community.
The six municipalities received a $150,000 grant through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Community Child Care Planning Program to conduct the analysis. The analysis is expected to wrap up with a final report and action plan by November 2020.
Queenswood is a highly skilled partnership of management consultants that specializes in research and analysis, consultation and public engagement, strategic planning, organizational development, program evaluation and operational reviews, and project management. They have provided services in public and non-profit sectors since 1989. Queenswood has a keen awareness of how a community’s ability to attract and retain young families depends on child care availability.
Public input opportunities
The first opportunity for residents to provide input is during Saanich’s Family Arts Festival on Monday, February 17 at Cedar Hill Recreation and Arts Centre. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a wide variety of activities and performances and free admission for all.
An online survey open to all residents of the six municipalities will launch February 17 at saanich.ca/childcareproject.
For details about public input opportunities in your community, please visit your municipality’s website:
More information about the project is available at saanich.ca.