On March 1st we're sending a message that implementing the $10aDay Child Care Plan is one of the most effective ways the BC government can alleviate family poverty in our province. As part of the Poverty reduction Coalition's week of action we encourage you to use the facts below to send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper telling your reasons you want to alleviate poverty in BC.
Despite being one of the wealthiest provinces in the country,13.2 per cent of the population — that’s 595,000 British Columbians — live in poverty. BC’s child poverty rate (19.8% as of 2014) is among the highest in Canada, and more than half (50.3%) of BC children in lone-parent families live in poverty. Most poor people are working, and almost half of BC’s poor children live in families where at least one parent has a full-time, full-year job.
BC also has one of the highest rates of income inequality in Canada. Inequality negatively impacts physical and mental health, education outcomes, trust and community life, children’s health and wellbeing, drug addiction, and more. Poverty is not just a hardship for those who experience it. It is costly to us as a province. Poverty reduction is a sound investment for our province, our communities and ourselves. And yet, BC is the only province left without a poverty reduction plan.
Today - child care fees are the second highest family expense after housing. Quality care is out of reach for many families who are poor. Without child care parents often can’t work or go to school, and, if they can work, too often they have no choice but to use unregulated child care, where no one is monitoring safety.
The child care crisis leaves many of BC’s college and university trained Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) living in poverty because of low wages.
The good news is that we can solve the child care crisis in a way that reduces poverty. The $10aDay Child Care Plan will make child care affordable for all – with no fees for families earning under $40,000 a year. This will move many families out of poverty and keep others from becoming poor. And the Plan will provide the women who care for children a living wage.
Send your letter to the editor today.