City of New Westminster receives 2012 Child Care Award of Excellence
New Westminster, BC– The City of New Westminster is the recipient of the 2012 Child Care Award of Excellence in the Local Government category. The award is presented by the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development and recognizes recipients that “exemplify excellence, going above and beyond to help young children grow and explore.”
Councillor Jaimie McEvoy and Senior Social Planner John Stark accepted the award on the City’s behalf from the Honourable Mary McNeil, Minister of Children and Family Development, at an awards luncheon earlier this month.
“This award recognizes our city’s commitment to child care and the excellent work of the Early and Middle Childhood Development Committees,” said Mayor Wayne Wright. “Investments in our children today pay dividends well into the future and we’re proud to play a part in that.”
In 2008, New Westminster City Council pledged its commitment to being a leader and active partner in the development and maintenance of a comprehensive child care system. To achieve this goal, Council approved the development of a child care needs assessment in 2008 followed by a strategy in 2009 and step-by-step guide in 2010. The City has also established a Child Care Reserve Fund and Grant Program, is completing work on its first civic child care facility and has signed a child care protocol with the New Westminster School District. As well, two child development hubs, anchored by licensed child care, are also progressing and two others are in the planning stages.
Since 2008, New Westminster has experienced a net gain of 324 licensed child care spaces which equates to a 27% increase. 197 of these were created as a result of City action, including development variance permit, lease of City-owned property, or rezoning.