What does it cost a family if both parents want to engage in the work force? In our community, rates for full-time child care range from $1,000 for infants, $900 for toddlers and $800 for preschoolers.
That’s a significant slice off a family’s budget and often a barrier for women, especially, to re-enter the work force.
Families in this province have been waiting for two generations for the kind of support that the growing call for a $10 a day child care program would provide.
Quality child care supports families and strengthens our communities.
The economic and social returns for everyone are well documented. Robert Fairholm, an economist with the Centre for Spacial Economics, a Canadian institute which examines regional economic and other data, recently co-authored a report with certified public accountant Lynell Anderson for the Early Childhood Educators of BC professional association in which they say that “by having more children participating in child care, you free up parents to go into the workforce, or to return to school to get further education” and that “the program would start to pay itself off in three years”.
Dr. Paul Kershaw, a UBC professor, indicates that such supportive programs “allows more women to return to work and gives low income earners support to engage in work rather rely on government support.”
A study by Kevin Campbell, an investment banker, quoted in a March 8, 2017 The Globe and Mail article says “[Our] study estimates a GDP multiplier effect for the $10 a day child care plan of 3.0, meaning every dollar that goes into the program is returned threefold to the economy.”
He also observes that “child care programs have very large multipliers, ranking among the largest of any economic sector.”
It’s time for the provincial government to do the right thing and expand support for quality training for early childhood educators, construct centres and adopt a program such as $10 a day child care and boost the provincial economy at the same time.