Sechelt Doubles Child Care Spaces in Revamped Proposal

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Sechelt wants to create a new district-owned daycare that can accommodate 75 children. The proposed location for the installation is near the corner of Shoal and Lighthouse avenues.

To fund the project, the municipality will revise the plans attached to last year’s unsuccessful grant application to the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund and reapply for the second class of this program. Sechelt’s first request to the program concerned a facility with 37 child care spaces.

The amount requested in her new application will be “close to the maximum grant of $ 3 million,” Kerianne Poulsen, acting communications manager, told Coast Reporter. Poulsen wrote in an email that if approved, the grant should cover the full cost of designing and building a new facility.

At its October 6 meeting, council approved spending of up to $ 12,000 for architect and quantity surveyor services to update and improve the previous request. These funds must come from the General Operating Contingency Fund 2021.

Mayor Darnelda Siegers raised this motion. It was not placed on the meeting agenda and was presented without a staff report. Com. Matt McLean said he was “uncomfortable making a financial decision on the spot,” but failed to postpone the motion until the October 20 board meeting.

Acknowledging McLean’s concerns, the mayor explained that a postponement would not leave enough time to meet the grant application deadline of November 16. Staff, she said, had reached out to grant program officials and grant recipients to find out what was needed to strengthen Sechelt’s original proposal. They were informed that a key consideration for grant approval is the submission of a ‘ready-to-go’ project plan and budget, which requires an update of the application and cost estimates for the project, according to Siegers.

During the meeting, Poulsen said the budget requested to update the request was based on information received in two quotes from architectural firms and the hourly rates quoted by quantity surveyors for their services. She noted that these service providers have indicated that they will need more than three weeks to complete these updates, due to their current workload.

In October 2020, the board approved up to $ 9,500 for consultant work on the first grant application. When asked by Coast Reporter about the evolution of the proposal compared to last year’s plan, Poulsen wrote: “The main difference is that we are increasing the number of new child care spaces to meet the financial goal of the Province of $ 40,000 or less per new space created… The way we will proceed will be to add a few extra square meters for before and after school child care, which is space that can be used by different age groups at different times of the day.

“Adding the option of before and after school care may allow the district to increase the total number of new child care spaces, while increasing the capacity of the most urgent child care spaces for age categories. newborns at 36 months and 3-5 years, as defined by the Sunshine Coast Child Care Action Plan.

In her email, she said the approved motion authorizes staff to apply for the grant and that board review of the updated submission is not required.


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