The school district is still deciding what age group its proposed 136 child-care spaces will serve

The New Westminster school district is going back to the drawing board to figure out the best use of the 136 child-care spaces it hopes to open in the coming years.

The district is trying to get its hands on some of the $221 million up for grabs through the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s new Childcare BC new spaces fund. The district plans to ask for $3.5 million to create new spaces at Richard McBride, F.W. Howay, Connaught Heights and Queensborough Middle School.

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A report, presented to trustees on Jan. 15, outlined the number of spaces sought by the district and the breakdown of those spaces. The report proposed 136 new spaces, including 12 infant-toddler spaces at McBride, Queensborough Middle and Howay; and 25 spaces at McBride, Queensborough Middle, Connaught Heights and Howay for kids ages three to five.

But last week, secretary-treasurer Kim Morris told trustees she needed more time to go over the exact configuration of the new spaces with staff and community partners.

Given the lengthy waitlists for before- and after-school care for school-age children in the city, Morris said the exact configuration of the spaces needs “to be fleshed out a little more.”

Morris asked trustees to endorse the district’s plan for 136 spaces so staff can get started on the application to the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

Trustees agreed to move forward with the modified plan.

Morris is expected to provide an update on the breakdown of the child-care spaces at the school board’s Feb. 12 operations policy and planning committee meeting.

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