B.C.'s child-care squeeze 'so much more stressful than it has ever been'
Ironically, the 38-year-old single mom is employed in early childhood learning, spending her days taking care of other people’s kids until she can pick up her own — an eight-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter — in after-school care at 5:30 p.m.
Watch the clip from CTV Vancouver Island news here:
A $150,000 B.C. government online map that is supposed help families find needed child care spots is advertising spots that aren’t there, according to a CTV News investigation.
CTV News checked a sample of Vancouver daycares the site said had spaces for a two year old, and found only a fraction actually did – a setup that is sure to waste time for parents desperate for help, said child care advocate Sharon Gregson.
“The people who put the map together had good intentions but it’s hocus pocus,” said Gregson. “It’s trying to do something about our child care crisis without spending any money.
“It’s backwards, it’s out of date, and for parents it’s not going to be very helpful,” she said.
As Vancouver parents compete for limited spaces, the sky's the limit for every-rising daycare costs
By: Jen St. Denis Metro Published on Thu Aug 25 2016
Vancouver families are struggling with a supply and demand child care conundrum — too few spaces are pushing fees into the stratosphere.
Currently 75 per cent of families who need child care are going without, said Pam Preston, executive director of Westcoast Child Care Resources. The cost of housing is one factor limiting the creation of spaces, especially in home daycares.
But the competition for scarce spots also means that home daycare providers are able to charge higher and higher fees.
“There is a lot of opening and closing, and when they close they tend to move out of the city,” said Preston of both licensed home daycares (up to seven children) and unlicensed home daycares (up to two children).
“But the other trend we are seeing is that what is happening is that fees are going up.”
Fees are going up by around two per cent a year for all categories of child care, including licenced group daycare centres. For children aged 18 months to three years, fees for group centres in 2016 average $1,370 a month; for licence-not-required home daycares, the average was $$1,157 a month in 2015. Up to date figures are not yet available for licenced home daycares.
Those are average fees, but for Preston, the upper range of the fees are shocking: some parents are paying as much as $2,125 a month for a group centre, and as much as $1,910 for a home daycare. (Figures are for the 18 month to three years age range.)
In a city where daycare spots can be difficult to find, some Vancouver parents are paying thousands of dollars to hold unused spots for their children.
Mother of two Ingrid Irani is on maternity leave from her job as a registered nurse, and is already paying for daycare for her son Alexander though the six-month-old still spends his days at home.
Irani and her husband had saved some emergency money before she went on maternity leave and decided to use the funds to ensure her son has a daycare spot when she goes back to work.
“This is considered an emergency because it’s either we stress out later in January and try to scramble to find a full-time spot, or we just pay for it now, get it done and over with,” she said.
The family will end up paying about $6,000 for unused child care on top of the $900 they pay every month for their older son who is going to the daycare centre.
“I wish I could use the money for RESP or something more worthwhile but I don’t think my husband and I really have a choice,” Irani said. “It’s so hard to find infant daycares. It’s extremely hard.”
Year long wait lists continue and cost of full-time childcare has gone up 2 to 4 per cent
By Tina Lovgreen, CBC News Posted: Aug 22, 2016 6:24 PM PT Last Updated: Aug 23, 2016 9:06 AM
Wendy Xiang and her husband moved to downtown Vancouver for his job two months ago, but she's already considering leaving because she can't find daycare for their two-year-old son, Felix.
"I thought it would be hard in the city, but I didn't expect it to be this hard," Xiang said.
"It feels unreasonable.There are so many kids and families here. I don't know how they — I don't know how I am going to survive here," said Xiang, who moved from Singapore and now lives downtown.
"Basically, the waiting list is between one to two years," she said. She says until she finds full-time care, she can't go back to work.
Her struggle to find daycare is shared by thousands of other parents.Read more
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like a copy of the letter sent to Federal Minister Duclos about the new Framework for Child Care and Early Learning
Having affordable childcare would mean that we could actually afford a second child! We want one, but considering how expensive daycare is in BC, there's just no way. Next month we will be paying $900 a month for full time care for our daughter who will be 1. We pay that for our mortgage.
And unfortunately we are one of those families that makes too little to be able to afford daycare (especially for two kids) but too much to actually get any type of subsidy.
It's incredibly disheartening and disappointing.
- Natalie B
Lack of available childcare infringing on human rights of women and children, says legal group
Legal association calls on province 'to make childcare significantly more affordable for all'
By Anna Dimoff, CBC News Posted: Jul 12, 2016 3:31 PM PT Last Updated: Jul 12, 2016 3:31 PM PT
The struggle to find childcare in B.C. communities has become more than just an exercise in frustration. A local legal association specializing in women's equality says it's a human rights issue.
The West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) has released a report looking at what happens when a childcare system doesn't meet the needs of the families that rely on it, and uses the accounts of 15 women to demonstrate the challenges mothers are facing.
"They're living in cycles of poverty, often trapped on income assistance because, even with a full childcare subsidy, they can't pay the cost of care necessary for them to work," said Kendra Milne, West Coast LEAF Director of Law Reform, and the author of the report.
Published Tuesday, July 12, 2016 5:19PM PDT
A new report says the shortage of affordable, high-quality daycare in B.C. has created a “crisis” for families and is violating the rights of women and children.
"High Stakes," written by a women’s rights lawyer at West Coast LEAF, calls on the B.C. government to immediately implement a $10-per-day child care plan.
"The current state of child care is failing women and children," said West Coast LEAF Director of Law Reform Kendra Milne.