Six municipalities in the Capital Regional District have formed a partnership to explore the availability of child care spaces in the region and conduct a gap analysis.

The municipal governments of Saanich, North Saanich, Central Saanich, Oak Bay, Sidney, and Highlands have hired Queenswood Consulting Group to conduct the study.

Through this partnership, the municipalities were granted funding of $150,000 through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) which will be used to pay Queenswood.

“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.”

According to a statement from the District of Saanich, the Queenswood Consulting Group will lead a series of workshops and public engagement opportunities to gather information about existing childcare resources in the region.

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)
  • Preschool
  • Family child care
  • Occasional child care
  • Multi-age child care
  • In-home multi-age care
  • Child-minding

The final report will take stock of the amount of existing childcare spaces available across the six municipalities and recommend ways to provide more daycare spaces in order to reduce travel time for families.

This report and action plan are expected to be drawn up by November 2020.

There will be multiple opportunities for public feedback and consultation across all six municipalities, the first of which will take place at the Saanich Family Arts Festival at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, February 17th at the Cedar Hill Recreation and Arts Centre.

An online survey will also be made available starting February 17th at this website.