Council discussing overnight childcare

Council is discussing an amendment to the Land Use Bylaw that would allow childcare facilities to operate overnight during Tuesday’s council meeting.

Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo’s current Land Use Bylaw does not align with the province’s 2019 legislation that allowed for overnight childcare in Alberta.

In 2021, the Alberta Government allocated $9.7 million in grants for operators to create 1,500 more spaces in day home and daycare centres, including overnight care.

Fort McMurray fits into the parameters set out by the province due to having many shift workers in energy and emergency services that require extended hours of childcare.

A text amendment was drafted by the municipality and circulated to internal and external stakeholders on April 4 for two weeks which raised no concerns according to the RMWB.

The amended bylaw would allow licensed daycares to offer overnight care with some stipulations.

Childcare facilities will not be approved if the dwelling contains a basement suite, bed and breakfast, boarding house, home business, or a secondary suite.

A dwelling developed as a childcare facility cannot alter the building style and must remain consistent with the character of the street.

An outdoor play space that is fenced in accordance with the Land Use Bylaw must be available.

Total occupancy, including children and staff, must be specified.

Passenger drop-off stall locations must be specified and provided on-site.

The following amendments do not affect day home operators as they are not regulated under the Land Use Bylaw.

Planning and Development have recommended that council pass second and third reading during Tuesday’s council meeting.

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