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New Richmond childcare centre using ‘lottery’ process to fill spaces

Applications will be accepted until May 2
child care
Applications are open for a new childcare centre in Richmond, which will be using a "lottery" process for initial intake.

A “lottery” process will be used to fill spaces at a new Richmond child care facility.

The Sprouts Child Care Centre in Capstan Village, operated by the YMCA of Greater Vancouver through a partnership with the City of Richmond, is scheduled to open its doors this summer, and will provide 12 spaces for children under 36 months, 25 full day spaces for children aged three to five years and 20 part day (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) spaces, also for children aged three to five years.

Applications for the lottery process, which will be used for initial intake, will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 2.

“This ensures that the process is fair and transparent and that there is equal access to the child care spaces,” reads a statement from the YMCA.

Applications will be drawn “randomly by priority and by age group,” and placed on a wait-list in the order they are drawn. Families will be contacted in the same order that names were drawn until all of the spaces are filled.

First priority will be given to those who live and work in Richmond, followed by siblings of children currently enrolled in another YMCA child care program, according to the application webpage. Third priority will be given to children currently in another YMCA child care program who would want to be enrolled in Sprouts.

According to the application webpage, after May 2, applications will be accepted in order to fill any remaining spots. However, if all spots are filled after the lottery process, all applications received after that date will be placed on the wait-list.

There will also be 20 before and after school spaces, which will open at the centre in September. A separate wait-list for these spaces will be released at a later date.

In a statement, the YMCA said Sprouts Child Care Centre is being built “with the expressed purposed of addressing child care needs for parents and caregivers in this community.”

However, a recent City of Richmond report found that demand for licensed child care spaces – of which there are around 7,000 – significantly exceeds supply. Only 30 per cent of children in the city who need child care have a spot.

As a result, the city approved Richmond Child Care Action plan on April 12, which aims to add more than 3,700 care spaces within 10 years.

The province also announced 403 new spaces across seven centres in the city, including the spaces at Sprouts, slated to open either this year or next. 

Fees at sprouts will vary depending on the type of care, according to the YMCA. For childcare for children under 36 months, the cost will be $1,155 and for children 3 to 5 years, fees will be $997 for full-day, and $790 for five hours. 

Meanwhile, once before and after school spaces are available at Sprouts, fees will be $262 for before school care for school-age children, $621 for after-school care and $665 for both before and after school care.

A recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives ranked Richmond as one of the most expensive cities in Canada for parents with toddlers in need of care, with a median monthly fee of $1,300.