Comox Valley Stroller Brigade bringing childcare crisis to forefront
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 SkyParkRead more
It’s now confirmed there will be a federal election on October 21st and we’re hoping you’ll help us to make Child Care visible as an important election issue in your community!
The Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC along with the Early Childhood Educators of BC and The Waitlisted Project are supporting province-wide “Stroller Brigades for Child Care” and we’d like you to be a part of the fun.
Did you know: child care funding is managed by the provinces, but a portion of that funding comes from the federal government? Together we need to ensure that those elected on October 21st support the $10aDay Plan by protecting the $50 million BC now receives annually for child care – and committing to grow that amount over time.
On October 5th in communities across the province families and educators will be holding ‘Stroller Brigades’ to make child care visible. Check the list to see if there’s a Stroller Brigade in your community – and if not plan to organize one with your friends and family. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We're happy to lend a hand.
So far, big and small Stroller Brigades are being organized in: Comox, Campbell River, Nelson, Squamish, Victoria, Penticton, Vancouver, Kelowna, Vernon, Parksville, Terrace, New Westminster, Port Alberni and Quesnel.
Stay tuned for more details and mark your calendar for a Stroller Brigade on October 5th!
Check on Facebook to find the details for each community.
Child care in Sea-to-Sky region going from 'bad to worse to crisis to chaos'
Municipalities, provincial government say work is being done to alleviate child-care crunchRead more
Support for move toward universal childcare supported by council...
by Timothy Schafer on Sunday August 25 2019
The province is moving towards the creation of a universal childcare plan and the city has moved to support that effort and becomes the 60th municipality to do so.
The city recently approved a resolution to advocate the province’s Child Care B.C. Caring for Kids, Lifting Up Families: The Path to Universal Child Care and recommended that B.C. “fully consider the recommendations from the $10-a-Day Plan and adopt them as it deemed appropriate.
The plan includes several solutions to address childcare issues in the province, identifying three major problems with the delivery of childcare in B.C.
The three problems identified are: the high cost of childcare; the lack of licensed childcare facilities; and, the low wages paid to early childhood educators.
“The plan proposes solutions to make childcare more affordable, accessible and of higher quality,” noted a city staff report to council.
In B.C. the Ministry of Children and Family Development administers childcare fee subsidies and funds certain service providers. The Ministry also registers early childhood education and funds local childcare resources and referral programs.
However, there is no one system of childcare and many providers operate independently.
Overall, the province has
The province has committed to over $1 billion for the next three years, including $237 million to implement “universal child care” and funding the creation of 22,000 new licensed childcare spaces.
The plan could lay the foundation for universal childcare — making childcare available and affordable for any family that wants or needs it — and moves away from the current patchwork of programs and services.
Thanks to a $25,000 grant from the province to undertake a community child care planning process, the City of Enderby has secured a consultant who will be kicking off the process.
Kara Wilhelms will be working directly with the community to develop a child care inventory, needs assessment, and action plan for improving access to child care in the community.
“This project will be community-based and community-focused,” said Wilhelms. “I’m hoping to connect with Enderby families who have infant, toddler and school-aged children. As someone who has not only spent five years working directly with Enderby families, but also as a working mother, I understand the challenges associated with accessing childcare.
Read more: here
Minister of Finance Carole James says ending 2018 with $1.5 billion operating surplus makes ten-dollar-a-day child care accessible to more families.
VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The latest Public Accounts report from the provincial government shows the operating debt has been eliminated for the first time in more than 40 years –which should help free up funding to build more affordable housing and make universal child care a reality.
Increased revenues of almost $3 billion–collected mainly from higher corporate and personal taxes along with the new speculation and employer health tax–helped create a $1.5-billion surplus.
Minister of Finance Carole James says ending 2018 with that operating surplus makes ten-dollar-a-day child care accessible to more families.
“It’s a long term plan. We have right now a number of, as you may know, a number of prototypes around ten-dollar a day child care that we will be evaluating and monitoring, so we can make sure that we’re doing this right and in a way that meets the benefits of the economy and meets the benefits of family and children and gives them the best start.”
She says increased revenues from taxation mean the NDP government’s still on track to make universal child care a province-wide reality by 2027.
“Well, remember it’s a ten year plan, so we are taking our time to make sure that it’s a made in BC model, that it’s done right to be able to make sure the quality is there. To make sure we have the child care providers in place…. I can’t tell you the number of parents who have approached me to talk about the difference it’s made in their lives. In some cases $350 a month off their child care bill and some cases much, much more than that.”
Read more: here
Indigenous families in over 30 communities throughout the province will benefit from more than 600 new, free licensed child care spaces and expanded Aboriginal Head Start (AHS) programs.
These programs support Indigenous families in becoming stronger and keep children connected to their culture.
The announcement was made by Katrine Conroy, B.C.'s Minister of Children and Family Development, at an "honouring the land ceremony" hosted by the Circle of Indigenous Nations Society in Grand Forks.
“Aboriginal Head Starts offer immediate supports to families who want culturally based early learning and care programs for their children,” said Conroy. “Not only is this funding helping to expand existing programs and services, it also includes building child care into the AHS model, something that families and communities have been asking for and need.”
Read more: here
Maximum funding amount available from Childcare BC New Spaces Fund increasing to $3 million per project
THE maximum funding amount available from the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to public-sector organizations, such as local governments, school districts, tribal councils and First Nations governments, is increasing to $3 million per project, up from $1 million.
Additionally, non-profit organizations – including Indigenous organizations – will be eligible for up to $1.5 million per project, three times more than was previously available.
“Our government believes all families should have access to publicly supported child care just as they have access to public education – and the best way to make that happen is by working in partnership with public-sector and non-profit organizations,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “By offering incentives to these sectors, we can strengthen communities and give families access to the services they need right on their doorstep, meaning they no longer have to give up valuable family time to get to their child care centre far from where they live – and we know that for families, that positive change can’t come soon enough.”
As well as the funding increase, the ministry is introducing a new process to allow experienced public-sector and non-profit organizations to apply for funding for multiple projects at once. More information on this process will be available in the coming weeks.
Surrey Board of Trade Pleased with BC Government’s Funding Increases for Childcare Spaces
SURREY – On July 15, the BC Government announced funding increases for childcare spaces. A significant increase in funding will help public-sector and non-profit organizations create more publicly owned and operated child care spaces in BC communities.
The maximum funding amount available from the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund to public-sector organizations, such as local governments, school districts, tribal councils and First Nations governments, is increasing to $3 million per project, up from $1 million. Additionally, non-profit organizations – including Indigenous organizations – will be eligible for up to $1.5 million per project, three times more than was previously available.
“Quality child care is important to business to help address the skills gap,” said Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade.