Big box childcare expansion no good for families or workers, says BCGEU

BCGEU News Release

The expansion of big box daycare in British Columbia is a loss for families and for all wage earners, the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) said today after private childcare operator Edleun Inc. announced it had purchased five daycare centers in the province.

“With corporate childcare, the profit motive comes at the expense of families and workers,” said BCGEU President Darryl Walker. “Corporate business models are focused on maximizing shareholder return by cutting costs and raising user fees. Families and communities should not have to pay more for a lesser service. Our children are not a commodity,” said Walker.

The BCGEU is an advocate for a comprehensive, publicly funded, community-based childcare system that is of high quality, affordable and accessible to all. The union is a proud member of the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. which recently presented a plan for a public system of integrated early care and learning that the BCGEU has endorsed.  “Public funding is the only way to build a childcare system that is based on the needs of children, families and communities – not the need of shareholders,” said Walker.

“The situation is scandalous: under 20% of B.C. families have access to licensed, high quality childcare spaces. Waiting lists are huge, and growing. Childcare costs are prohibitive for median income families,” said Walker. Overall, Canada stands out among developed countries for its lack of access to quality, affordable early childhood care, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Private childcare operator Edleun Group Inc. is the first publicly listed child care corporation in Canada, and has been expanding rapidly thanks to significant capital market backing.

The BCGEU represents 1150 workers in 53 daycares in communities around British Columbia.