Jan 07, 2020

Town of Ladysmith, regional partners seek community input on childcare needs

The Town of Ladysmith, working together with our regional partners, is interested in hearing from parents and caregivers as well as early years providers to help with the planning and creation of new affordable childcare spaces in Cowichan.

The Childcare Needs Assessment is a collaborative initiative between the Town of Ladysmith, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Municipality of North Cowichan, City of Duncan, and the Town of Lake Cowichan.

In order to best gather the necessary information, we have launched a brief survey for anyone living in the Cowichan Region caring for at least one child 12 years of age or younger.

The survey can be completed online in less than 15 minutes until January 18, 2020. You can also access it online at www.cowichanchildcare.malatest.netor find copies at the Frank Jameson Community Centre.

Among Ladysmith Council's strategic priorities for this term is to develop affordability strategies that reflect the needs of our community.  Completing a regional child care space review and assessment was identified as a project in this key area.

The Childcare Needs Assessment is funded through a $125,000 grant from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM).

Together, the Town and our regional partners' focus is to engage with the public to identify current gaps and barriers, complete an inventory of existing child care spaces and develop a Child Care Action Plan.

The result will be a strategy and achievable goals for a child care system in Cowichan that meets families' needs now and in the future.

Early in 2020, the consultant for the project will hold stakeholder meetings locally to gain a better understanding of the current child care needs facing Ladysmith. 

Similar face-to-face conversation will happen in the other respective Cowichan municipalities and electoral areas.  

Completing the survey not only provides us with important information but also gives respondents a chance to enter a draw to win a $50 or $100 grocery voucher or Amazon gift card, or one of ten $50 RecCowichan gift cards.

Individual survey responses will be kept anonymous and grouped together to create the final report.

If you have any questions about the survey, please email Malatest at CowichanChildCare@malatest.com or call 1.800.665.5848 ext 314.