Vancouver’s 9,200 licensed childcare spaces are stretched to the breaking point, with an estimated 62,000 children under the age of 12 battling for access. It is now not unusual for parents to wait years for their child to reach the top of the list, says Sandra Menzer, executive director of the Vancouver Society of Children’s Centres. VSOCC’s 25 licensed childcare programs currently have a waiting list of 2,000 names.
The Cons are responsible for this crisis. They have cut the budget for child care by 950 million dollars. The provinces were on track to create thousands and thousands of spaces before the Cons destroyed the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement when they came to power. These spaces would be up and operating right now if the Cons had not first cancelled their creation and then stalled for an additional 13 months, doing absolutely nothing at all. Stalling on the creation of child care spaces is the same thing they have done with Kyoto. Both files are being managed from the same dismissive, arrogant, irresponsible, Con playbook.
I do not believe it is just Afghanistan and Kyoto that killing the Cons at the polls, but also the total lack of initiative on the child care file. Their incompetency is blatant and it’s angering many families.
I would like to see child care spaces created include both group child care centres and high quality regulated family/home child care programs owned by certified ECE’s. I think it would increase capacity faster than group child care expansion alone.
The Westender reports,
“All I was hearing was how horrendous the waiting lists were,” says the 31-year-old, who gave birth to daughter Elise five months ago. “Some of my friends have children who are three now, and they still haven’t had a call about a place.”