FILE – Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

FILE – Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Vancouver city council to debate 24-hour child care for essential shift workers

Councillor points out that many families who work odd hours have young children who need care

Vancouver city councillors are set to debate a motion to make it easier for extended hour child care facilities to operate in the city.

The motion, set to be debated at Tuesday’s (Feb. 9) council meeting, was brought forward by Coun. Melissa De Genova.

In the motion, De Genova notes that many of the people working shift work have young children but not the finances to arrange alternate child care arrangements.

“Many families requiring childcare due to work outside of traditional hours are also low income and single parent families. These families often must make arrangements for childcare that are not ideal, stable and/or come at a greater cost than families who are supported,” city documents state.

“The expense of childcare is greater than the expense of housing for many families with young children living in the City of Vancouver.”

Documents note that while there are no rules against setting up 24-hour child care facilities in Vancouver, current guidelines don’t provide clarity on how to set up an operation that could include sleeping facilities and other overnight needs. In her motion, De Genova cites 24-hour child care facilities in Ontario and Quebec, some of which are so popular as to have long wait lists. She also cited a licensed 24-hour child care facility that is expected to open in 2022 in Kitimat, with 60 new spaces for infants, toddlers and school-aged children. That centre is expected to be funded through theChildcare BC’s New Spaces Fund for the Tamitik Status of Women.

READ MORE: National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof


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