Child care is a new and emerging area for local governments.
From 2018- 2021, UBCM offered two child care funding programs to better understand local child care needs and to develop new child care spaces in their communities. The Community Child Care Planning program provides funding for local governments to develop a community child care space creation action plan. The Community Child Care Space Creation Program awards up to $1 million to successful local governments to create new licensed child care spaces within their own facilities.
In 2021, with funding from the provincial government, UBCM hired project consultants, Sarah Huebert from SPARC BC and consultant Sandra Menzer, to deliver the guide, Stepping Stones: Child Care Planning Guides for BC’s Local Governments.
Stepping Stones offers local governments promising practices in five key areas:
1) Developing a child care strategy and plan;
2) Local government’s role in facilitating, securing and financing child care;
3) Local government’s role in designing and building child care spaces;
4) Local government regulations and provincial licensing processes; and,
5) Working with child care operators.
A webinar, based on the Guide, was held on February 23 and showcased child care planning in three BC communities: The City of Richmond, the City of Williams Lake and the District of Sicamous. The Guide, with its related templates and samples; and the recorded webinar and powerpoint presentations, can be found here: Policy documents and resources
Additionally, in 2018, UBCM and the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC worked together to better understand the child care needs in small, rural and remote communities in BC. A final report was created and delivered to the provincial government in an effort to influence policy and program development for child care in small, rural and remote communities.