Children aren’t widgets

Darryl Walker’s blog, President, BCGEU

The expansion of big box, commercial daycare centres in British Columbia is not a good thing. Children aren’t widgets. Their care should not be entrusted to a corporate entity. I mean, would you trust your three-year old to Wal Mart?

Private daycare operator Edleun recently announced it was taking over five daycare centers in BC, including three in the Lower Mainland. As a corporation, Edleun’s focus is to deliver a return to its shareholders.

The only way private daycare centers make a profit is by charging higher fees, paying staff less, and by gambling on real estate. None of these prospects is good for working families. Average families probably can’t afford private daycare – and certainly not if you have more than one child.

We need an alternate vision: a publicly-funded, accessible, community-based early childcare system. And we need it yesterday. We needed it five years ago. This type of care brings out the best in children, is affordable for BC families, and encourages the development of a skilled and committed workforce.

We are being let down. Big box daycare is not a solution. B.C. families deserve better.

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