Terrace, BC council backs subsidized daycare

Provincial program would also raise wages of workers, advocates say

A recent presentation by local daycare professionals to city council revealed that daycare services are lacking in Terrace, but council was divided over whether a major government subsidy is the right way to remedy the problem.

Early Childhood Education Branch of BC co-chairs Terry Walker and Nancy Dumais, both managers of local daycares, spoke to council of their society’s mission to get the B.C. government to finance a system that would cost families $10 a day.

Dumais and Walker argued that the current system of combined not-for-profit and private daycare is broken. They said Terrace is an example of a city where the current daycare programs are hard to afford and also understaffed.

Dumais told council that “there is a shortage particularly of infant and toddler child care service in Terrace. I have people call every day and we are full. I have a list of about 30. That shortage of spaces means that parents can’t necessarily return to work after parental leave.”

“Families are definitely having trouble finding daycare right now,” she said.

Low wages deter potential professionals from entering the field and the reason wages are low is because they are based on a fee system that is difficult to balance with the need to charge an adequate amount for a high cost service with the necessity of keeping fees low enough to attract clients, she and Walker said.

They added that including better early childhood education with daycare would help remedy child poverty issues by allowing more parents to work.

Two councillors spoke out with criticisms of the subsidy plan, however the vote eventually went 5-1 for the council to endorse the Early Childhood Education Branch of BC’s plan through an online form.

The Union of British Columbian Municipalities as well as Kitimat, Prince Rupert and Smithers have endorsed it as well, the delegates told council.

Across Canada, Quebec has had a heavily subsidized daycare system costing parents just $7.30 a day but the government there now wants to raise fees with higher income families paying more.

Councillor James Cordeiro, who was recorded as opposed was of the opinion that private daycare providers would be put at a crippling disadvantage if they were not included in the proposed subsidy scheme.

“If you don’t want to be unionized, you aren’t going to be in that system,” he said.

“There are going to be casualties, certainly, but can we really say they are more important that the broad section we will be helping?” Walker said in reply.

Councillor Brian Downie also said that private daycare providers are left out and was told that such provider could chose to join the government system.

“We are in a community where with a very high percentage of service jobs which are low paying and with housing the way it is, and with people going into debt to support childcare I don’t think we can afford not to endorse this,” said councillor Stacey Tyers in supporting the plan.

Councillor Michael Prevost also spoke in favour, saying council’s support of subsidies would help in advancing eventual government action.

 

 

 

Just Posted

$15 million spent on cancelled transmition line

BC Hydro had already spent approximately $15 million on planning a new… Continue reading

Terrace husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

BC Ambulance presented each a Vital Link Award for separate incidents of CPR

New funding opens for industry innovation

Northern Development Initiative Trust opened new funds, focused on areas impacted by the pine beetle

Former resident wins filmmaking award

Veronika Kurz will be able to make her film with $15,000 cash and in-kind services, up to $100,000

Cross country ski club breaks membership record

They glided into a new record thanks to the early-season start

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

LIVE: Solitary confinement in Canadian prisons unconstitutional: B.C. Supreme Court

Associations argued that solitary confinement was inhuman

1 in 4 B.C. consumers unable to pay bills, debt repayment: poll

Since interest rates first rose in July, poll suggests households across B.C. have had to tighten budget

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

154 remote B.C. communities to get high-speed internet

Government funding to bring subsea fiber optic cable to connect people on the coast

Kelowna West byelection called for Feb. 14

Four candidate race to replace departed former B.C. premier Christy Clark

Bank of Canada hikes interest rate to 1.25%, cites strong economic data

The rate increase is expected to prompt Canada’s large banks to raise their prime lending rates

Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by Canadian immigrant

“This is a good example, I think, that will be helpful to change views about immigration. And maybe for Mr. Trump himself to consider immigrants as contributors to advancing science, advancing our societies.”

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

The rival Koreas took major steps toward reducing their bitter animosity

Most Read