Limited licensed care options outside of traditional work hours to accommodate shift workers, a lack of a centralized registry of available licensed spaces and a low awareness of current child care benefit eligibility to reduce costs were among some of the themes identified in the City of Prince Rupert’s child care study.
In August, the city asked parents and child care providers to complete a survey in order to better understand local child care needs and challenges. Preliminary results were released on Wednesday with researchers finding a number of overarching themes that emerged from the engagement process.
The study also noted space shortages for infants and toddlers and an inability to recruit and retain child care staff as a major barrier to service provision.
During the survey, there were 132 surveys completed by parents, 15 one-on-one interviews, 10 child care provider surveys completed and 71 child drawing submissions (in which children drew their ideal care space).
Information received from child care providers and parents will inform the development of the draft plan, which will be available for public review in February 2020.
“Following completion, the plan will be a valuable resource for the City, child care operators, employers and community partners to use to proactively address and advocate for local child care needs. In addition, it will be a key document to assist local applications for the recently announced Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, where Prince Rupert is eligible for up to $3 million in space creation funding,” stated the city.
This project was made possible through $25,000 in grant funding from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).
Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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