Quality child care essential
Letter to the Editor in the Vernon Morning Star on May 20, 2016 from Lynne Reside
I recently returned from the annual conference of the Early Childhood Educators of B.C. where I was inspired by people who have been advocating long and hard for an integrated system of publicly funded child care.
We are increasingly aware of the unattainable housing costs in much of our province.
I know that many families rely on two incomes to be able to support their family, many families are headed by one parent and many families highly value the professional early care and learning practitioners to whom they entrust their young children.
First Nations, Metis and Inuit families and children are still being impacted by the effects of colonialism, cultural assimilation and appropriation, residential schools and overt or subtle racism.
The Truth and Reconciliation report and the youth suicides in many indigenous communities have raised awareness of the importance of supporting aboriginal families.
We have increasing immigration and refugee settlement, with families who need support for their children to learn English or French as well as many traumatized children who need to learn to play again and need extra intervention to be ready for school and life.
Families need safe, nurturing, affordable, accessible quality child care the same way they need public education.
Trained early childhood educators complete two-year diplomas with a lengthy practicum and a requirement for annual continuing education to retain their certification.
Licensed centres are monitored and insured. Child Care Resource and Referral and Community Care Facilities Licensing are tasked with maintaining standards of safety and quality.
ECEBC works diligently to increase professionalism and provide ongoing training opportunities.
The North Okanagan Branch of ECEBC is very active in Vernon and area to ensure that ECEs are supported, networked and trained to support our local children and families and ensure that their developmental needs are addressed whether in family child care, group child care, preschool or after-school care.
Quality child care impacts every member of our community. We know that 90 per cent of a child’s brain development happens in the first five years. We know that early experiences set children on a trajectory for life that can impact their physical and mental health into their senior years, that the cost of poor early experiences has an impact on our education health care, and justice systems and that children who are not given the help they need to be ready for school or life are more likely to drop out of school, have poorer employment outcomes and to become involved in criminal activity.
The cycle of poverty can impact generations of children.
Quality, affordable child care provides a calm oasis and source of support for families and young children in an increasingly challenging and stressful world.
All parents love their children and want the best for them but for some that can be very challenging. Quality child care provides support so families can work, continue their education or deal with personal and parenting challenges.
All members of the community from youth to seniors are encouraged to sign the petition for $10 a day child care at $10aDay.ca and help us to make a better future for every child and family.