Day of Mourning for Child Care in BC

Campbell River Child Care Society

For your information, please share with others who you feel would be interested in “the cause”.

The staff at four child care programs in Campbell River, operated by the CR Child Care Society, with support from their Board of Directors, are planning to suspend services for one day on March 31, 2003. They will mark it as a Day of Mourning for Child Care in BC.

It is hoped that through this, they can draw attention to the loss of hope in the political will to build a system of affordable, regulated, professional child care services that are accessible to all families. The new (April 1, 2003) C-COF (Child Care Operating Funding) ignores the funding needs that were previously acknowledged by the Provincial Government.

Group child care centres face the biggest cuts, and they will be challenged to survive, particularly those for school aged children. For some programs, the future looks grim. Rather than go quietly into that future, they have decided to take pay cuts, they will raise fees, and they will stop for a day and ask, “Take a moment to think about child care. How much do group child care programs mean to you? To our community? To taxpayers? Can we better afford to keep them, or lose them?”

The answers to these questions will shape the future of child care in this province. The voices that must be heard answering, are those of parents, grandparents, employers, educators, municipal politicians . . . No voices means “no problem”.

March 31 was the day chosen because it is the final day of the current funding, and it is the 21st service day in the month. Because people on subsidy can access only 20 days of subsidy each month, they would have to pay for their child care that day anyway, so by scheduling the suspension for this day they will not “lose” any money. The details of that day have yet to be worked out. They may be dependent on whether other programs in the community join the action. They do expect to have staff at each of their facilities to act as information posts.

Are you and the staff at your centre willing to support this idea? We are publicizing the idea in the hope that it will catch on in other communities and that it will be a provincial day of mourning for child care in BC. Together we CAN make a difference!

If you have any ideas or wish to lend support, please let us know. E-mail Kathy Rae at and Joyce McMann at