Earlier this month I was happy to hear the $10-a-Day prototype sites were launched. Along with other new programs like the Fee Reduction Initiative and Affordability Benefit which both started earlier this year, most families in B.C. are now paying lower fees than they otherwise would have been. Recently, we also welcomed early childhood educator wage enhancements, and are continuing to push for further increases.
While these are all important steps in the move towards universal child care in B.C., families also desperately need access to more licensed child care spaces.
Currently, only 18 per cent of children in B.C. have access to a licensed child care space. Waiting lists can be years long, leaving families no choice but to use unlicensed care.
With the recent elections of the mayor, councillors and school trustees, now is the time to acknowledge they have an important role to play in ensuring our community has more quality licensed child care. I expect them to apply for new provincial grants aimed at creating more licensed child care spaces, and make public land available for custom-designed modular buildings to help create new quality child care programs in our community.