KPU plans child care facility in partnership with MNBC

Fri, Feb 17, 2023

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) has secured significant funding from Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) to pursue a proposal to develop a 61-space child care facility at its Surrey campus.

MNBC will provide expertise and resources toward the planning, finance, and operation of the facility, which has previously received support from the Province of British Columbia New Spaces Fund to provide 36 infant-toddler spaces and 25 for children aged two-and-a-half to kindergarten.

In recognition of its investment, Métis children will have priority access to some of the child care spaces.

“We know our children can thrive when they are afforded quality care and we look forward to continued partnerships that help bolster Métis families,” says Paulette Flamond, MNBC’s Minister of Post-Secondary Education.

“Our dream is that all our Métis children will grow up embracing their heritage and be proud of their culture. These children will be the ones to bring our culture back to the forefront for our families and Nation,” adds Debra Fisher, MNBC’s Minister of Education.

The proposal goes beyond hosting a child care facility. KPU is partnering with Capilano University and MNBC to offer early childhood education (ECE) programming at the Surrey campus. Once built, the KPU campus facility would provide practicum placement opportunities for ECE students.

“Our partnership with MNBC will ensure that education in the facility is culturally relevant and involves the inclusion of local Elders, Culture Keepers and community members. There will be an ongoing focus ensuring programs are inclusive of Métis, First Nations, and Inuit culture,” says Diane Purvey, KPU provost and vice president, academic.

Diane Purvey, Harry Bains, Lissa Dawn Smith, Debra Fisher
The facility will also provide new opportunities for KPU students and employees to access child care, opening up opportunities to learn and work for those who may have otherwise struggled to do so.

“We often hear at convocation a student describe how they juggled looking after a child with studying to successfully gain their qualification,” says Purvey. “Looking after a child while studying at university is challenging. We believe having a child care facility on campus will be an important support to help students with young children attain educational success.”

With the increasing numbers of young families moving to Surrey, Purvey says the facility will provide access to quality child care for the surrounding Newton community.

“Creating more affordable child care spaces has been a cornerstone priority of our B.C. government,” says Harry Bains, MLA for Surrey-Newton. “Having access to affordable child care can be transformative for parents and families, and I am so pleased that this child care facility will support the unique needs of people in Newton, with specific attention to Indigenous communities.”

KPU is now drawing up plans for the new two-storey building on the Surrey campus to house the child care facility. Those plans will be informed by the KPU2050 Official Campus Plan and go through the necessary City of Surrey planning and development approval processes, which will include opportunities for input from interested communities.