Affordable childcare makes sense – it is everyone’s business

By: Christina Dicks, Alberni Valley Times

My name is Christina Dicks, and I have been living in the Alberni Valley since 2003. I am a mother of two boys and work as an early childhood educator for Alberni Valley Childcare Society….

I believe that all children deserve to have access to quality childcare, and I am a strong advocate of a universal childcare system. The early years are crucial in a child’s development. Child care is no longer a choice for families but is a necessity.

Childcare is the second highest expense after housing costs for young families.

According to Simon Fraser University, the average cost for child care in B.C. is $1,200 per month for infants and $809 per month for three to five-year-old children.

In 2011, the Coalition of Child Care Advocates and the Early Childhood Educators of B.C. released a Community Plan for a Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning. The plan offers a concrete, innovative “made in B.C.” solution to the child care crisis facing families with young children. If the government puts the plan in place, child care will cost families $10 a day for a full-time program, $7 a day for part-time care and no user fee for families with annual incomes under $40,000.

Every young child will have the right to participate in quality early care and learning programs that meet their needs and the needs of their families.

I endorse this plan and encourage my readers to learn more about the plan …Affordable childcare is everyone’s business and makes sense. As a parent, grandparent, business owner or a community member your voice can count and make a difference in making the plan a reality. The children in our community have a right to quality affordable care.