New Westminster, B.C. – Today, the City of New Westminster hosted a grand opening for a new child care facility in the Queensborough neighbourhood. Located at 490 Furness Street, the facility was realized in partnership with the Province of B.C. and Anthem Properties. The daycare provides full-day care for 37 infant/toddler and preschool-aged children and is operated by K.I.D.S. Child Care, whose former space at Queensborough Community Centre is being converted into a before-and-after-school care facility through additional provincial funding.
“Providing more child care options in our growing neighbourhoods continues to be a priority for the City of New Westminster,” said Mayor Patrick Johnstone. “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 childcare space happen in Port Royal.”
As part of their new Portside development, Anthem Properties constructed a two-storey, almost 330 square metre base facility that accommodates 12 infant/toddler spots and 25 preschool-age spots for full-day care. Construction funding of $500,000 was provided by the Province of B.C. through the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund. The City contributed an additional $407,000 to cover the cost of energy efficiency upgrades, interior improvements, furnishings, and outdoor play area enhancements.
“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,” said Aman Singh, MLA Richmond-Queensborough. “By partnering with the City of New Westminster, we are delivering on our commitment to create a future where child care is a core service that families can rely on by funding child care spaces where they are needed most.”
K.I.D.S. Child Care has operated a full-day preschool-age program out of Queensborough Community Centre since December 2013; the move to the new location allowed them to expand their operations to include a much needed infant/toddler program. The daycare began operating at the new facility on March 1, 2023.
This morning’s grand opening event included a formal ribbon cutting and speeches by Mayor Johnstone and MLA Singh, as well as: Chief Ed Hall of Kwikwetlem First Nation; Riaan Debeer, Vice President Development, Anthem Properties; and Sunshine Gudlaugson, Chair of the Board of Directors, K.I.D.S. Several daycare families attended in order to mingle, connect, and enjoy family-friendly activities.
A second Provincial ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund grant was awarded in order to retrofit the vacated community centre space to accommodate a licenced school age care program with up to 25 spaces. Construction is expected to begin this spring, and the City is currently in the process of selecting a qualified non-profit child care operator. Since 2010, the City has facilitated 1,179 non-profit and for-profit child care spaces and continues to focus its efforts on creating new child care spaces.
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