Two new schools for infants and toddlers will be coming into the Delta area in 2019.
“There was a lot of demand in Delta for our school,” said Natacha Beim, founder of CEFA early learning private schools. “There was also a lack of options for the area that made us decide to go into the area.”
Two CEFA schools will be opening around Delta for 2019. The first, located in the Tsawwassen First Nation, will open in January. The other, said to be in North Delta although it’s located on the Surrey side of Scott Road, is expected to open in April.
The private school features a curriculum that includes reading, writing, yoga, science, music, field trips and naps, as well as a chef to feed the children during the day. Together, the two Delta schools will have spaces for up to 400 kids between the ages of one and five.
According to the City of Delta’s corporate social planner, Gillian McLeod, those are the kids who are most in need of childcare in Delta.
“Definitely that toddler age would be well served. We need that,” McLeod said.
“We have a lot of private home daycares that are doing pre-school age, toddlers up,” she explained. “It’s more expensive to do infant care and younger care, so more expensive means more cost for both families and the providers.”
However, McLeod noted, adding more childcare spaces at the toddler and infant age doesn’t necessarily mean it will fill the gap for Delta residents.
Right now, many childcare facilities in Delta actually have spaces available for kids, but parents aren’t filling them up. Some of this has to do with the times that parents need childcare, but McLeod said the bigger problem was prohibitive costs.
“We want to look at what barriers there are [to childcare]. And the primary barrier is normally money,” she said.
“People call it the childcare mortgage.”
The two CEFA schools coming to Delta might not be cheap. Biem said there isn’t one funding model for CEFA — costs depend on the lease rates for the school’s building and the age of the child. But in general, part-time fees range from $805 to $1,600 per month, while full-time fees run between $1,340 and $1,840.
The average monthly cost for infant and toddler childcare in Vancouver is $1,250.
The provincial childcare benefit could help make this more affordable for families, as the benefit offers up to $1,250 for families with an annual income of less than $45,000 and other levels of support for families earning up to $111,000 a year. Parents with children attending CEFA schools are eligible for this benefit.
“We’ve seen in a lot of our schools that a lot more parents who didn’t have maybe the means to afford our school before now are able to,” Biem said.
The Tsawwassen CEFA school is currently accepting applications for new families. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.