Have you or someone you know been on a waitlist for childcare far longer than you care to admit? Does the lack of quality, affordable, accessible childcare have a negative impact on your life? Does your place of work suffer because current or future employees can’t find a space for their child?
These are just some of the impacts of the current childcare crisis in the Comox Valley. Many families go on multiple wait lists as soon as they find out they are expecting, only to be told there is a two year or more wait time before a space becomes available. Childcare programs report waiting lists of over 200 families for a 12-space program. Some childcare centres are operating at below capacity because they cannot find qualified early childhood educators to staff their programs.
This is the crisis and this is why we need to advocate for sustained funding and policies to address these issues.
On Oct. 5, more than 20 B.C. communities, including Courtenay, will be hosting Stroller Brigades for Child Care. Ahead of the federal election, families, educators and the public will be rallying for an end to this crisis. The Comox Valley event will take place Oct. 5 from 10-11 a.m., meeting at the Courtenay Airpark Café and walking to the Rotary Children’ s SkyPark.
This type of positive pressure has been proven very effective in B.C. and across Canada. In the last provincial election, childcare was one of the top issues addressed by all parties thanks to the advocacy and determination of the Early Childhood Educators of B.C and the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. via the $10 a day childcare plan.
Your children may have outgrown the need for childcare, or you may not have children at all, but this crisis will affect you. Whether it’s the nurse who cares for you in emergency, the server who brings you your morning coffee or the mechanic who fixes your car – someone you rely on relies on childcare. Please join us on Oct. 5 and support the call for an affordable, accessible high-quality system of childcare in our country.