May is Childcare Month.
The reality is that child care in our province is not working!
The Early Childhood Educators of B.C. and the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. offer up a solution to the crisis in child care and have presented a plan that will see fees capped at $10 a day for full-time care and $7 a day for part-time programs such as pre-schools. Families who earn under $40,000 per year will have no fees at all.
But what exactly is the crisis?
In B.C., families are burdened with the high cost of child care, which is second only to mortgage payments in monthly expenses, and higher if you have more than one child. Quality regulated spaces are hard to find and wages for Early Childhood Educators are too low.
We are long past the time when we can argue about the benefits of quality early years experiences for children. Research also shows that public spending on the early years is a wise social and economic investment.
But what exists is a patchwork system of services that is often hard to navigate and accessible only to those who can afford it.
The $10-a-day Child Care Plan is innovative and ambitious and requires shift in the way we think about and deliver services to young children and families. It provides a framework for significant and lasting change that will happen over time.
Fundamentally, children and families have a right to a publicly funded, democratically controlled services. Children also have the right to participate in early care and learning programs that suit them best.
At the core, our children are worth it!
You can view the entire plan and accompanying fact sheets and sign on to endorse it at www.ecebc.ca.
Charlene Gray, ECE,
Editor’s note: Charlene Gray is the director of professionalism for the
Early Childhood Educators of B.C.