Child-care plan would be good for B.C

The (New Westminster) Record

You’d think by 2012 we’d have this one figured out: quality child care should not be something that only a fortunate few are able to access.

These days, you either need a lot of extra money to pay for high end care or a big dose of plain old good luck to come across an open spot at when you need it.

With long wait lists and prohibitive fees, child care can all too often be the piece of the puzzle that just doesn’t fit – forcing families to settle for lower quality care in potentially unsafe environments or leave the work force entirely.

With a rocky economy and a pricey housing market, there are few families these days that can afford to live on a single income, even if they’d prefer to do so.

On the flip side, many people – having spent plenty of years in education and moving up the career ladder – don’t want to leave their fields, regardless of the financial question.

Better access to quality child care creates a more stable work force, a more productive work force and, most importantly, allows families to find spaces for their children that are safe, supportive and beneficial to their emotional wellbeing and their early education experiences.

Yet somehow, this one just keeps falling to the bottom of the list – or, sadly, it seems to not even make the list.

While health care and education are top of mind issues during elections, early childhood education and child care just seems to fall under the radar – per-haps because, for many people, it’s a few limited years and they simply “make do” while their children are young.

But as a society, we should be at a better state than “making do” – and that’s why we applaud the Coalition of Child Care Advocates and their efforts in creating a provincial $10 per day child-care system with enough spaces for everyone who needs them.

Will it require public funding?

Of course – but in the long run, it’s the public that will also see the benefit, and that’s good for everyone.