A new school-aged child-care program is set to open at Queensborough Middle School this spring.
Kids Borough will have 40 spaces for children ages five to 12, for before and after school care, according to a press release from the school district.
New Westminster school board chair Anita Ansari said she understands the difficulties parents face, trying to find child care in the city, as she has two children in child care herself.
“We know the need is there,” she told the Record.
To address that need, School District 40 is working with the City of New Westminster on the Kids Borough project, which will see two school portables moved and retrofitted to house the new centre.
The city provided $136,950 for the work on the portables, according to the release. The district will own and maintain Kids Borough, and it will be run by Westminster Children’s After School Society, which runs nine other child-care centres in the city.
“Together, we’re teaming up with the city,” Ansari said. “We’re really happy to deliver child care in Queensborough.
“This is one of the ways to address child-care concerns,” she said, adding many parents have contacted the district about these concerns.
The district is exploring all avenues and working with all available agencies to deal with the shortage of child care in New Westminster, Ansari added.
The society has a waitlist for Queensborough children, and those families will be contacted via email and offered a space at the new centre. Any remaining spaces will be offered on a first come/first served basis, the release stated.
Opening dates and times will be provided by the district and the society once licensing requirements have been met.
A centre for younger children is also in the works, according to Mayor Jonathan Cote.
“The City of New Westminster recognizes the need for additional child care spaces in Queensborough and is committed to working with the school district and the province to address this need,” Cote stated in the press release. “In addition to these 40 school-age care spaces, the city has received a provincial grant for a child-care facility in the Queensborough neighbourhood for children aged five and under, and is seeking further funding for another similar facility in the area.”
For more information or to get on the Kids Borough waitlist, contact email@example.com.