Coun. Adam Fras has announced he will be pledge his support to Parksville’s Stroller Brigade for Child Care on Oct. 5.
The event is organized by the Early Learning Child Care Council of Oceanside in conjunction with the province-wide $10/Day Child Care campaign.
It’s part of a larger movement of ‘Stroller Brigades’ across the province.
The event aims to raise awareness of politicians at the federal level that B.C. needs to continue receiving federal investment in child care.
Fras says the point of the brigade is to keep child care issues top of mind for federal politicians heading into the fall federal election.
“In our area the child poverty is one of our largest concerns in our community. So just making sure there’s adequate and quality childcare. Especially when they speak about the first 2,000 days being the most influential on a child’s life,” said Fras.
Funding received by the province currently goes towards childcare spaces, quality child care and increasing wages for Early Childhood Educators.
According to a UBC report measuring early development of children, Parksville is currently above the provincial average for vulnerability of children age five.
The provincial average is 32.2%, but children in Parksville come in at a 44% vulnerability rate.
The vulnerability rate measures five categories: physical health and well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive development as well as communication skills and general knowledge.
Parksville children are coming in behind in physical health and emotional maturity.
“I think it’s a concern to really understand why that’s happening, and what kind of pieces need to be in place to help bring us out of that. I think childcare is a big one… when you have affordable, accessible childcare it provides the parents a little bit of ease of the stress of their life so they can go to work and focus on the family matters a little bit more,” said Fras.
The Parksville event will take place on Oct. 5. It starts at 12:30 p.m. at city hall, then moves down to Community Park.
Events have been organized in other municipalities on the same day, including Comox, Campbell River, Victoria, Port Alberni and more.