CALGARY – Two city councillors are pushing for daycare services to be introduced to city-owned buildings and housing.
Current bylaws don’t allow for childcare facilities at those sites, but Ward 9 Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra and Ward 11 Councillor Brian Pincott are expected to file a notice of motion on Monday which suggests that should be changed.
In the motion, the councillors warn the City of Calgary “does not have enough accessible and affordable child care spaces to accommodate the needs of its citizens” and that “municipalities have an important role to play in promoting the development of child care services.”
They add that access to affordable child care services can have “positive economic effects” on families, particularity single-family and low-income households.
“This isn’t about the city providing child care services,” Pincott said. “This is about looking at how we can, within city facilities, open up the door to allow not-for-profits to provide child care services.”
One of the inspirations behind the notice of motion is the Lumino building in the 5700 block of 2 Street S.W.
Pincott said the building has undeveloped units that were intended to be leased to child care providers – but isn’t currently allowed to.
“We have a Calgary housing building in Manchester, that is actually built, designed to have a child care facility on the ground floor and it’s sitting empty because we don’t have land use for it,” Pincott said. “This notice of motion is basically saying we have to fix that individual problem… but we really should, as policy, look at how do we do this across the city.”
Pincott and Carra are suggesting administration prepare a report summarizing the potential to allow for all future City of Calgary buildings to include spaces that allow for child care services, in addition to how feasible it would be for current city buildings to add child care services.
– With files from Doug Vaessen