Fighting for affordable child care
By Jennifer Stahn
Image Credit: David Castillo Dominici via freedigitalphotos.net
September 12, 2013 - 2:28 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – An advocate of $10 per day child care sees continued support for the program and says the first step is following more than half the country in transferring child care out of the ministry of children and family development to the education ministry.
Sharon Gregson says full time child care fees for a two-year-old child can cost $1,915 per month in areas like Kelowna, Victoria and Vancouver and with the influx of for-profit centres popping up communities could start to see costs, which are already some of the highest in the country, go up even more.
“There's less access and we pay more. Fees are too high and the quality too low, there's not enough training,” she says. “The system sucks.”
Early Childhood Educators of B.C. And the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. Partnered in 2010 to put together a proposal that would see the cost splitting between the province and parents flipped. Looking at other provinces, including Quebec where there is a $7 per day child care program, and at the costs for quality child care in B.C. a proposal was released April 2011. Gregson says there has been support from many groups from the beginning and it's time something was done about it.
“I think (groups) are tired of supporting it and not seeing anything done.”
Gregson was in Kamloops Wednesday to talk to the social planning committee on the request of city council. The $10 a Day Child Care Plan already has the support of several Interior groups, including Vernon City Council, Union of British Columbia Municipalities, several child care organization and, the social planning committee of the North Okanagan as well as Kelowna city councillor Colin Basran. More than two hundred other groups and individual politicians have voiced their support of the proposal across the province.
She says the $88 million investment would help reduce fees for all infant and toddler spots across the province and by planning with school districts and municipalities the system could be built from the bottom up, using the resources already in place.
“We're building on what we currently have,” she says. “These are low cost items that get us started in the right direction.”
Gregson explains the proposal would help extend the life long learning model to include the early years, which are the most important. Funding would help ensure kids are getting better care and woman can return to the work force as skilled, trained workers who continue to pay taxes.
“We get a better return on our investment.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013