Child care needs new vision

Local living wage group holding forum June 7 to discuss new, quality services

Only about 20 per cent of the parents looking for quality childcare are actually able to find it, says Bill Preston from the District 69 Living Wage for Families Coalition.

That’s a problem he’s hoping will be fully explored when the coalition holds a special childcare forum in Qualicum Beach.

“This is about a new vision for childcare in B.C,. and a solution to the current childcare crisis,” Preston said. “We are going to have a speaker from BC First Call, which is an advocacy organization for children and youth.”

The speaker, Adrienne Montani, the provincial co-ordinator for First Call, will focus on child poverty in her talk and will be followed by Sharon Gregson.

Gregson is with the Coalition of Childcare Advocates of B.C.

“They have created what is called a community plan for a public system of integrated early care and learning,” Preston said. “They have been going all through the province giving presentations about this.”

The core of the plan, he said, is to provide $10-per-day childcare, with an average wage of $25 per hour for early childhood educators.

“That has always been a sector that is very poorly paid and they are doing an important piece of work,” Preston said. “We are not talking about the woman down the street who is making a few bucks, we are  talking about quality care and these folks have been under-paid for ages.”

The coalition will offer two sessions on June 7 at the Community Hall in Qualicum Beach. The first will meet from noon to 2 p.m. at an RSVP luncheon, while the second event, at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, will run from 7 to 9 p.m.