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24-hour childcare in Vancouver? Council to debate idea

City council will discuss whether staff should look into the issue or not
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Vancouver city council is set to discuss having some childcare centres offer round-the-clock services for essential workers.

Vancouver city council will be discussing whether to look at 24-hour childcare at Tuesday's meeting.

A motion proposing staff look at creating policy to encourage extended hour childcare centres in Vancouver brought forward by Coun. Melissa De Genova will be discussed at the Feb. 9 meeting. The motion, if passed, would see staff gather information on the requirements and funding possibilities for overnight, extended and weekend childcare.

De Genova's motion discusses how working families would benefit from extended care.

"Many families with young children, including single-parent families, work on various shift patterns, including overnight and on weekend shifts," states the motion. "Many families requiring childcare due to work outside of traditional hours are also low income and single-parent families. These families often must make arrangements for childcare that are not ideal."

If passed, staff would also look at approaching current and future childcare centres.

Provincial funding may be available for extended childcare, as well; another avenue staff would be directed to explore. The motion notes the provincial government has committed funding to a 24-hour childcare facility expected to open in 2022. Premier John Horgan has promised continued action in childcare in the past, but focused on $10-a-day care.

Currently, there aren't rules against 24-hour childcare in the City of Vancouver. However, the motion notes there aren't any guidelines or incentives for operators.

The motion is set to be part of tomorrow's meeting.