Council Approves Provider at Gordon House Child Care Centre
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
West Vancouver, BC: Last night District of West Vancouver Council authorized a license agreement with Ms. Sabrina Fairbrother of Bellabee Childcare Ltd. to operate Gordon House Child Care Centre. The new centre will open January 1, 2010 and will provide twenty full day licensed child care spaces serving infants, toddlers, and three to five year olds. "On behalf of our Council, I would like to congratulate the parents and caregivers of West Vancouver whose vision is becoming reality," said Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones.
Councillor Michael Smith is a member of the Child Care Services Working Group that, in 2007, recommended Council pursue major capital funding opportunities to create new licensed child care spaces at Gordon House and at Ambleside Park. “This is the first of two agreements to create licensed daycare spaces in public buildings in our community. It is the result of the collaborative efforts and hard work of the community, staff, Council, and the Province to address the critical shortage of child care spaces in West Vancouver,” said Councillor Smith.
Major Capital Funding grants totalling $223,300 from the Ministry of Children and Family Development were used to renovate existing municipal buildings at Ambleside Park and Gordon House, and to implement a Child and Family Hub at the Community Centre Civic Site. A ‘Hub’ consists of a child care service integrated with two or more family support programs and services. The ‘Hub’ model has been widely identified as best practice in supporting families’ access to information, services and programs to have the greatest impact on healthy child development. The West Vancouver Child and Family Hub will link child care services, child development programs, recreation, health services and family support programs at the Community Centre Civic site.
Ms. Fairbrother was chosen as the operator after an extensive review process. The selection acknowledges her longstanding experience providing high quality child care in West Vancouver, demonstrated commitment to professional development, successful community partnerships, and her support of developing child cares spaces using a child care hub model. “We are very excited to have this opportunity to be a part of the West Vancouver Child and Family Hub at the new Community Centre. We have provided quality child care in this community for the past 13 years and are thrilled to be a partner in this new initiative,” said Ms. Fairbrother.
Access to quality child care is vital to the social and economic well being of West Vancouver and the families that live here. It is essential in creating a healthy, well balanced community and represents a fundamental investment in the social sustainability of our community.
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Leanne Sexsmith, MCIP
Community Planner - Social Services
District of West Vancouver
In 2008 the District applied for and was successful in receiving capital funding from the Ministry of Children and Family Development for the creation of two new child care facilities at Gordon House and Ambleside Park. Funding was required to renovate the existing municipal buildings at these sites to meet provincial licensing standards for twenty child care spaces at Gordon House ($92,800) and sixteen child care spaces at the Ambleside Park Adventure Play building ($100,000). Construction is anticipated for completion in November 2009 at Gordon House and the child care centre will be opening for operations January 1, 2010. Construction is anticipated for completion March 2010 at the Ambleside Park facility.
The Gordon House project received additional funding for a temporary part-time staff coordinator position to develop and implement a Child Care Hub at the Community Centre Civic Site ($30,500).
On March 23, 2009 the District issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) from qualified child care providers to operate child care centres at these sites, with the following objectives:
- support the development of child care spaces in West Vancouver, using a child care hub model;
- offer high quality child care based on best practices;
- provide a program that is flexible and responsive to family needs and community diversity;
- demonstrate a high standard of quality, professionalism, environmental stewardship and commitment in all aspects of the child care centre services, facilities and grounds; and
- work in partnership with the municipality and community.