Child Care Needs Assessment
Committees & Organizations Involved
Tri-Cities ECD Committee & United Way Avenues of Change Coquitlam River
United Way of the Lower Mainland
In May 2016, Westcoast Family Centres Society convened a Child Care Panel in an effort to better understand the child care needs of the Tri-Cities community. This project was a key part of the Coquitlam River United Way Avenues of Change initiative. The first phase of the project brought together families, service providers, schools, businesses, governments and other stakeholders in a community engagement process. This process identified the difficulty families’ face in finding affordable, high quality child care in their neighborhood. Westcoast Family Centres Society contracted Jane Beach and Associates and Barry Forer from the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) at UBC to conduct this assessment.
The primary purpose of the child care survey was to collect basic demographic information about the households in the Tri-Cities with children 0-8 years old, and detailed information on respondents’ child care use, needs, and preferences. There were a total of 988 valid respondents, representing 1,550 children aged from 0 to 8 years old in the Tri-Cities community. Respondents provided their views and opinions of their child care arrangements:
- 46.7% Parental Care,
- 39.6% Licensed Care
- and 13.7% other Child Care Arrangements.
The results of the report provided a brief understanding of the child care needs of the community. Attention to quality was identified as an important attribute towards the expansion of licensed child care alongside cost, enrollment process, and hours of operation. The report also identified a distinct need for respondents who have been in Canada for less than 10 years. It was clear from the report the need for more dialogue and collective willingness of planners and key stakeholders is required to address the lack of accessible and affordable child care within the Tri-Cities.
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