People braved the cold wind on Friday afternoon to raise awareness for the Coalition of Child Care Advocates $10 a day child care petition. They marched from Spirit Square to Claire Trevena’s office.
“It’s something that we’ve needed for a very long time,” said Andrea Craddock, president of the Campbell River, Courtenay and District Labour Council and event organizer. “Families are struggling. It is expensive to find daycare, it is difficult to find daycare.”
Krista Stobart and her family are one of those families. For her two sons to be in full-time daycare, while she and her husband work full time, Stobart pays $1,800 a month.
In order to reserve a spot at the daycare, Stobart put her name on the list eight weeks in to her first pregnancy and five weeks into her second pregnancy, because she knew it was really hard to get in.
Though affordable child care is one of the main pillars of the petition, easier access to childcare as well as better paid and better educated care workers are also part of the Community Plan for a Public System of Integrated Early Care, which is put forward by both the coalition as well as the Early Childhood Educators of BC.
Joyce McMann, a school board trustee for SD72, was also at the march.
She said she would like to see a commitment from society to support maximum development in young children. At the moment free education is a right for all, she said, only starting at five years old.
“The fundamental building blocks of success start way before that,” she said.
McMann would like to see early childhood educators looking after kids and supporting their early development, but at the moment the pay isn’t there, so there is very little incentive for people to study early childhood education.
“It’s the world we live in today,” Craddock said. “Women have to work in order to sustain a family. It’s something that will help families in the long run.”