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 panel identified that a child care needs assessment would be useful towards the goal of developing a Tri-Cities child care action plan. As a result in September 2016, WFC contracted Jane Beach and Associates to undertake a Tri-Cities child care needs assessment. The work was undertaken by Jane Beach in collaboration with Barry Forer from the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) at UBC. 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 report completed in September 2017 is an instrument towards dialogue of the future of child development needs in the Tri-Cities community. The information collected is not intended to identify specific unmet needs for child care, nor a concrete child care plan on its own but to inform key stakeholders towards the future of child development. Westcoast Family Centres Society is committed to continue to provide services towards child development, strengthening families and their communities in the Tri-Cities and across the Lower Mainland.
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