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New West opens new daycare centre in Queensborough

K.I.D.S. Child Care will care for 37 kids in the new Portside development.

Queensborough families have another child-care centre in the neighbourhood.

The City of New Westminster hosted a grand opening on Saturday, March 25 for a new daycare facility in Port Royal — a partnership between the city, the Province of British Columbia and Anthem Properties.

The centre, at 490 Furness St., provides full-day care for 37 infant-toddler and preschool-aged children. It's operated by K.I.D.S. Child Care, whose former space at Queensborough Community Centre is now being converted into a before-and-after-school care facility, with additional provincial funding.

"Providing more child-care options in our growing neighbourhoods continues to be a priority for the City of New Westminster," Mayor Patrick Johnstone said in a press release. "Queensborough is the neighbourhood where this need is most acute. I'm thrilled that we were able to bring partners together here, with the developer providing space, and funding assistance from the province, to make much-needed new child-care space happen in Port Royal."

The new child-care centre is in the Portside development, where Anthem built a two-storey facility that accommodates 12 infant-toddler spots and 25 preschool-aged spots. The centre, which covers a nearly 330-square-metre base, was built with a $500,000 grant from the province through the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund. The city, meanwhile, chipped in with $407,000 to cover the cost of energy efficiency upgrades, interior improvements, furnishings and enhancements to the outdoor play area.

K.I.D.S. Child Care has operated a full-day preschool-age program out of Queensborough Community Centre since December 2013. The move allows them to expand their operations to include an infant-toddler program.

Their vacated space in the community centre will now be retrofitted to accommodate a licensed school-aged child-care program with up to 25 spaces, with construction to begin later this spring. The city is in the process of selecting a non-profit child-care operator for that program.

Richmond-Queensborough MLA Aman Singh said the partnership with the city is part of the province's commitment to ensure that child care is a core service families can rely on.

"We know access to affordable, quality child care is life-changing for families and is good for the community and local economy, which is why I'm thrilled to see these additional child-care spaces that will benefit New Westminster families," Singh said in the release.

You can scroll through the photo carousel above to see some shots from the opening celebrations.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
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📢 SOUND OFF: What has your family's child-care experience been like in New Westminster? Have you been able to find daycare space when you needed it? What more needs to be done? Share your thoughts — send us a letter.


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