With unanswered questions about why the minimum outdoor play space per child as determined in the Child Care Licensing Regulation was reduced from 7 square metres for licensed child care programs to 6 square metres, First Call sent Minister Dix a letter asking for more details about this change from his ministry, and for the minimum outdoor play space per child to be increased.
The City of Vancouver’s Child Care Design Guidelines recommend 14 square metres per child, which is roughly the size of a parking stall. Many European countries require even larger outdoor play spaces per child. (Please see enclosed visual illustrations for context.)
The previous provincial standard of only 7 square metres was thus already too small. Recent studies have found that gross motor movement is decreasing among young children, contributing to obesity in school children. If child health and safety were the priority, the logical amendment to the regulation would have be to require more space per child.