Kwantlen researches childcare program for students and faculty

Children in daycare.

Kwantlens daycare program would run on all four campuses, helping students and staff in each location take care of their children. Photo by Kasey Tanner.

In order to meet the demands of its students and faculty who are raising children, moves towards creating a child care program are underway at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Arzo Ansary, 26, is part-time student, an active member of the Kwantlen Student Association and a single mother. Ansary and Robyn Rushford started researching for a child care program within the last year, in order to help students who have to pay high tuition fees and child care fees.

In order to implement a new program at Kwantlen, a consultant must be hired to do background research on the project.

“So, what Kwantlen ended up doing is they hired me, and I will now be building the first-ever project for child care on campus for all of Kwantlen. They will have child care available for all four campuses, for all faculty and students,” said Ansary.

The program should be implemented by the spring of 2015 at the latest.

Ansary comes from Afghanistan, where women have few resources at their disposal. Even now in Canada and on her university campus, she feels that resources are slim.

According to Ansary, women are one of the most marginalized groups of people. She wants to make a difference through this daycare for women who are either single parents, or those who need a place to look after their children.

“I am also still a woman and there are barriers. For example, if I have a child, and I have classes in the evening it makes it harder because I have to be home,” she said.

Kwantlen had a daycare program on the Langley campus about 10 years ago. Operating costs were extremely high, at around $300,000, which led to the university shutting the program down.

Ansary believes it is important to use the resources available to help others, even if her child is older and will not be using the child care himself.

The University of British Columbia(UBC) created its child care program in 1967, which began as a non-profit society. Simon Fraser University(SFU) started its child care program one year later as a family oriented drop-in centre.

A full-day program for one month at UBC for an infant is priced at $1,355, whereas SFU charges a slightly lesser fee, $1,145.

Kwantlen is a smaller school with less funding, but Ansary believes that the program is important enough to try again.

Natalie Cudmore, 32, who recently had a child, said that she would be more inclined to go back to Kwantlen if child care was offered. Cudmore said that not everyone has the luxury of having someone look after their child, and if Kwantlen offered this service it would help a lot of parents out.

Also reported and written by Roshini Sakhrani.


  • Kristin Unger
    Reply November 30, 2013

    Kristin Unger

    I love the initiative, but I am sceptical about the results. Childcare is terribly expensive, and often times it is cheaper to find daycare with an outside source. You pointed out the costs for full-time care for UBC and SFU. Outside sources are infinitely cheaper. I’d be curious to see what initiatives Kwantlen can take to keep the costs competitive.

    • Avatar
      Reply December 6, 2013

      Cindy St-Laurent

      Yea you are right but there are also lots of benefits to having your child close to you at school, the main one being convenience. I do agree that they will need to greatly subsidize the price but I think that Kwantlen should be able to. If SFU and UBC can do it, a growing school like Kwantlen should definitely find the means somehow, even if it is not as good at first.

  • Julia Vergara Carnero
    Reply December 8, 2013

    Julia Vergara Carnero

    I am familiar with Kwantlen’s plans to open a daycare but I am feeling skeptical about it too . The demand is definitely there but the difference from other universities is that Kwantlen has three campuses, and the daycare would have to be in all three of them to accommodate all parents. Not sure if that will work. Great initiative though. They still should definitely try.
    Robyn Rushford is a great parent counselor at Kwantlen. She is so helpful and so knowledgeable.

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