British Columbia

Child-care services at Vancouver community centres returning this fall

Licensed child care and preschool services will be able to reopen at 20 community centres across the city starting Sept. 1.

20 centres will be able to reopen Sept. 1

A child plays at the Creekside Community Centre in Vancouver. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Licensed child care and preschool services will be able to reopen at Vancouver community centres starting Sept. 1.

According to the Vancouver Park Board, 20 centres will once again offer child care this fall after the majority closed in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the board said each child-care site supports between 20 to 174 children, ages two-and-a-half to 12. 

Child-care services at the centres are provided in partnership with the Vancouver Park Board, community centre associations (CCAs) and third-party organizations.

Specified reopening dates for September will be determined by the individual CCAs and third-party operators.

It will also be up to CCAs and third-party operators to determine how their spaces will be filled and decide whether they want to prioritize children of essential service workers and vulnerable children and youth. 

During the pandemic, child-care services at Britannia, Creekside, Mount Pleasant and Ray-Cam community centres did remain functioning for the children of essential service workers.

Physical distancing at the centres, according to the park board, will follow guidance from the Ministry of Health and will include a combination of markers, signage, and modified activities.

Staggered pick up and drop off times, along with physical distancing measures, will also be encouraged to reduce the chance of overcrowding.

Child care and preschool licensees are required to use spaces in accordance with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) licensing regulations. VCH licensing does not require child-care operators to reduce their capacity.

Some child care and preschool services may already be filled as parents and guardians registered their children at the start of the year. 

There is no set date as of yet for the reopening of gyms, fitness centres and programming at community centres.

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