A national child care system...“because it’s 2015”By: Martha Friendly
The best line of the Trudeau government’s first day— widely reported and praised in the international media—was the new PM’s. In response to a reporter’s question about why he’d chosen to create a gender-parity cabinet, he rather matter of factly observed “because it’s 2015”. This ostensibly simple statement summed up a complexity of attitudes, beliefs and even world views in three words. For those feminists who remain doggedly optimistic after a decade nasty enough to slay the optimism of Anne of Green Gables, it raised hopes that the first day’s lustre could foreshadow more significant changes to come.
It's a common complaint among working parents -- getting good quality childcare that doesn’t break the bank can be tough.
Check this out! We’ve assessed each of the major federal party’s election platforms to determine how they will help BC implement the $10aDay Plan. The differences are striking!
On the surface child care seems like a simple issue. Surely it’s just about having somewhere safe for kids to be looked after by women other than their mothers while their often low-income mums work? Simple, right?
The truth is that child care has broader and deeper implications and reaches into our families, our communities and our economy far more than most realize.
Let’s start with children. It’s not just about being safe. In the 21st century, given what we know about the importance of the early years on brain development, life-long health and success, we want children to be in environments that are designed for learning through play, no matter what the employment status of their mothers. We want early childhood educators who know about the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of children and provide stimulating learning environments and high-quality care.
Because when a parent uses child care it’s not a replacement for or abdication of their parenting. Rather, it’s an extension of and complement to their parenting.
I am a grandmother and mother who supports the 10 a Day Child Care Campaign with all my heart. The most important thing for children is to be supported and loved. Affordable child care is essential to allow parents to make choices that will ensure their children are supported and loved.
"We want the best for our children, our grandchildren and for the adults that they grow into being. Giving them quality, compassionate and experiential learning right from the start not only sets them up to be healthy contributing members of our society, it also allows their parents to contribute their own gifts, enriching all of our lives."
- Sharon, Grandmother of Summer
My 2 cents. While the study referenced below essentially reinforces the importance of public investment in high quality, universal child care, it’s unfortunate that the authors have not made this finding explicit. Rather, they deny the vast body of evidence highlighting the benefits of quality care for all children, and proceed to make claims about children and child care in Quebec without differentiating between those who actually experienced child care and those who didn’t, and without assessing the quality of the child care settings for those who did.
In BC, we are grateful for the opportunity to learn from Quebec’s rapid expansion of child care in the early years of their system-building. Our 10 a Day Child Care Campaign calls for adequate public funding to build a high quality, universal system over the next ten years. The benefits from mothers’ increased workforce participation alone will almost pay for the system, and those benefits are split 50/50 between the federal and provincial governments. That’s one reason why it’s important for all federal parties to commit to quality, affordable child care in this election.
I support $10 a day child care so that no parents will need to say they are unable to work, and no grandparents will need to help pay for a grandchild's daycare so their child can work (even though it's given with love).
Being a grandparent is a magical experience and one we are very grateful to experience.
Every day, as an Early Childhood Educator, I see the need for quality, affordable and flexible childcare. This hit home on a personal level when my grandson was born. My daughter's job in Outdoor Recreation is a seasonal auxillary position. She is unable to find childcare that is affordable and flexible for her schedule. So the care of my grandson is divided up amongst the grandmothers and great grandmother. When her mother-in-law is watching her other grandchildren, whose mother has no affordable childcare, I have taken vacation days to watch my grandson. I don't want my daughter to miss the opportunity to work. Even my 70 year old mother has watched her great-grandson on many occasions when neither grandmother is available. Unfortunately my daughter has had to turn down work as no one was available to help her out. The need for quality, affordable and flexible childcare has never been greater.