Child care, housing top of mind for parents ahead of budget
· CBC News · Posted: Feb 12, 2020
The B.C. government will table the budget on Feb. 18, 2020
Katie Barthel, a mother of two from Surrey, is an advocate for $10-a-day daycare in B.C. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)
There's a short window during Katie Barthel's lunch break when she's able sneak away from work to discuss the upcoming budget.
Barthel — who lives in South Surrey with her husband and two daughters, aged four and eight, and sits on the board of directors for the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. — says a $10 per day child-care system would be a major help to families like hers where both parents work full time.
"It would help us balance our lifestyle and be able to do more things as a family, save for our children's education or retirement," she said.
"It could also help us pay for the increasingly difficult housing market in B.C."
Barthel says her neighbourhood has seen explosive population growth since her children were born, so it's been a challenge for her friends and neighbours to find child-care spaces.
The B.C. government says it is working with schools to create more spaces, but Adrienne Montani with the advocacy group, First Call, says many low income families still can't afford child care.
"Those who are lucky enough to get a spot are often stretching way beyond their budget or they're not going back to work," she said.
"That's both single families and parents in couple families."