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Project Play gets 8 more childcare spaces approved by Squamish council

Once adopted, Project Play in the Ravenswood will be able to have 32 children in total after council approves third reading of a bylaw amendment.
Project Play Family Centre, located on Falcon Crescent.

A Squamish childcare facility will soon be able to increase the number of children it can take after council unanimously approved the third reading shortly after a public hearing. 

The bylaw amendment just needs an adoption, which will likely take place at the next regular business meeting on Dec. 19.

On Nov. 21, council unanimously approved the first and second reading of the amendment for Project Play Family Centre, located on Falcon Crescent, that would no longer limit the group size to 24 children, instead allowing a total of 32 spots. This set the stage for a public hearing on Dec. 5.

At the public hearing, two people spoke to council about increasing the number of children at the facility, one in favour and one against and both said they lived near the facility. 

Brian McGeown said he was opposed to the facility largely because he worried adding more children would increase vehicle traffic and put the children in danger. These concerns were similar to two emailed correspondence reviewed at the first and second readings.

On the other hand, James Elder spoke in favour, saying that having more spaces available to families will help the community as childcare is hard to come by.

The facility, Project Play, has told the District of Squamish that 172 children are on its waitlist over the next three years. That lengthy waitlist speaks to the childcare demand in Squamish.

At the Nov. 21 council meeting, Jessie Fletcher, a municipal planner, said the demand continues to grow as the District of Squamish aims to reach a 30% childcare access rate.

“The District currently has a 20.8% access rate, which is a decrease from the 2019 rate,” she said.

A spokesperson for the District, Rachel Boguski, wrote to The Squamish Chief in an email that originally the 30% target rate was set during the 2019 Child Care Action Plan and they have since updated it to reflect the 2021 census.

“To achieve a 30% access rate for childcare for children 0-12 by 2026, we need to add 118 spots per year,” wrote Boguski. “To achieve a 30% access rate for childcare for children 0-12 by 2031, we need to add 86 spots per year.”

In the end, council unanimously approved the third reading of the zoning bylaw amendment at the Dec. 5 meeting, with some councillors saying that they hope improvements to traffic could also occur.

“I can attest to how difficult it is for families who don't have access to childcare and how detrimentally and preferentially it affects women and their long-term earning potential and self-worth and career,” Coun. Lauren Greenlaw said, noting her family spent five years on a childcare waitlist. “I do have concerns about the traffic, however, and I do think that these issues should be addressed.”

Greenlaw said she hopes the people in the neighbourhood who share these concerns reach out to the District and discuss reducing the speed limits in the area and additional signage. Coun. Chris Pettingill said he would like to see these happen in parallel with supporting community needs.

“I do appreciate that there are challenges in that folks that expect to be moving into a residential-only neighbourhood and this has changed over time,” said Coun. Jenna Stoner. “But the reality is the needs of our community have changed over time and we need to be able to support those who continue to live, work, [and] play here and are trying to make Squamish a home.”

“Our community desperately needs every new daycare spot that we can create,” said Coun. John French, who referenced the large waitlist at Project Play. “We need more daycare operations like this one and if a proposal like this one was planned next to my house, I’d enthusiastically support it.”

For more information about the approval, review the District council meeting at

Please note: An earlier version of this story misstated the number of childcare spaces needed by 2026, but has since been updated.



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