Victoria seeking consultant to help with 10-year plan to boost child care

Victoria is looking for a consultant to help draft a 10-year plan for how the city can facilitate creation of more child-care spaces in the city.

“I think there’s definitely a role for local government within our own jurisdiction for making it easier to open more child-care spaces,” said Mayor Lisa Helps, noting the city can help with issues such as parking requirements or zoning provisions.

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“There are all sorts of things that are really within the city’s toolbox to make it much easier for child cares to open.”

The project budget is $25,000. It’s funded through a Union of B.C. Municipalities grant.

The action plan will position the city to recommend initiatives when provincial money for child-care initiatives becomes available, Helps said.

“The province actually expects municipalities to do this work and those, I think, that actually do the work will have better chances of getting funding,” she said.

The request for offer document says the goal of the action plan is to identify space-creation targets over the next decade, which will help inform future investments.

The work will include compiling an inventory of child-care spaces and staffing in Victoria, and assessing the need, including looking at whether current spaces are meeting the needs of under-served populations.

It also involves a review of local plans, bylaws and policies to identify potential barriers to space creation.

The work is scheduled to begin in August, with the action-plan report due in December.

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