Township of Langley applying for childcare funds for 400 new spaces

Click to play video: 'Township of Langley proposes child care solution'
Township of Langley proposes child care solution
WATCH: As British Columbians struggle to find child care, a lower mainland municipality is stepping up, putting up public land in the hopes of getting non-profit child care built. Angela Jung reports. – May 5, 2024

The Township of Langley is looking to expand its non-profit subsidized childcare spaces through the help of a provincial grant.

The township is in the process of applying for the ChildcareBC New Spaces Fund.

Township of Langley Mayor Eric Woodward said city council has identified ten potential locations for childcare sites in the area, with council endorsing five of them.

“Council has endorsed the locations to proceed to application at these locations. From there, we would determine the amounts and what’s required to get them completed,” he told Global News.

“The province provides a lot of support and funding to create the capital for these childcare locations and the township would then take them over, maintain them and receive operating subsidies to work with (a) non-profit to offer the subsidized child care spaces.”

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Woodward said the council had a process of choosing potential sites, which included neighbourhood needs, access to parking, proximity to park spaces and nearby amenities.

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The mayor believes all five locations will be approved by the province.

“If all five locations are approved by the province, which we have no reason to think they won’t be, it’ll be an addition of 400 or so child care spaces to the township that we really need. It will help in so many ways.”

Funds could be used to build new child care facilities at Langley parks.

Parents in the area said it has not been easy finding child care in their neighbourhoods.

“My husband works from home so he has to manage his time, his zoom meetings and everything in order to be able to pick them up. So yeah, it’s not easy, for sure,” Liliana Garcia said.

However, some parents are concerned it would take away valuable green space if the child care centres are built in parks.

“Langley is already so hard-pressed for outdoor green spaces for kids to play in. So I would just hate to see more trees cut down to build buildings,” Brit Gardner said, a local parent.

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In response, the township said no trees will be cut down for child care spaces.

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