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July 14, 2022, 4:42 pm

Coquitlam’s Child Care Partnership Strategy Recognized for Excellence in Planning

City of Coquitlam
COQUITLAM – Coquitlam’s Child Care Partnership Strategy has been awarded a Silver Medal for Excellence in Policy Planning by the Planning Institute of BC (PIBC).

The awards, handed out during the PIBC annual conference, honour the best in professional planning work by members across B.C. and Yukon. Coquitlam’s recently-adopted Child Care Partnership Strategy was recognized for its innovative use of impact assessments and targets for child care spaces tied to growth and community need. Additionally, judges felt it set a good reference for social planning for other communities across Canada. 

Council has prioritized work to define Coquitlam’s approach to child care. Following the adoption of the Child Care Partnership Strategy in December 2021, one of the first priority actions for implementation was to improve accessibility to child care within Coquitlam through:
 
  • Recommending new ways residential rezoning applicants can measure the child care impact of their development proposal and identifying how that impact will be addressed; and
  • Establishing a dedicated funding mechanism for child care. 

In support of this, at this week’s Council-in-Committee meeting, staff presented a draft Child Care Incentive Policy, as well as a draft Child Care Reserve Fund policy and bylaw.

The Child Care Incentive Policy would encourage new child care spaces by offering additional residential floor area for developments that include child care.  It will also make permanent the interim policy that has been in place since 2019, which allows child care space not to count towards maximum building size. 

The Child Care Reserve Fund (CCRF) borrows from the success of the Housing Affordability Strategy (HAS) to propose developer-funded financial contributions towards child care spaces. This fund ties in with the recently-proposed increase to Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) program with $1 (of the $6) per square foot of residential floor area allocated for child care. The CCRF is proposed to be capped at $2 million with any excess funds directed toward other community capital priorities typically supported by CAC funding such as libraries, community centres or park improvements.

Staff will be sharing these policies with interested stakeholders, and may refine them slightly based on feedback. It is anticipated that they will be brought to Council for final adoption later this year.

Adopted in December 2021, the Child Care Partnership Strategy provides a framework for Coquitlam’s approach to child care within the local government scope of responsibility, recognizing the larger role of senior levels of government and community partners. The strategy is structured around four strategic directions and supporting actions and implementation plan to improve the accessibility, affordability and quality of child care in Coquitlam, including the use of incentives and other means. Learn more about the strategy at www.coquitlam.ca/childcare.

To sign up for updates, visit www.coquitlam.ca/notifyme and subscribe to the Child Care Partnership Strategy list.

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