The City of Penticton has signed a letter of support for the $10aDay Child Care program. The provincial government is currently running a pilot program to inform its planned universal child care plan. (Photo from Unsplash)

City of Penticton supports $10aDay Child Care program

Council voted unanimously to sign a letter of support at the June 18 council meeting

The City of Penticton has endorsed the provincial $10aDay Child Care initiative.

At the regular council meeting on June 18, council voted unanimously to send a letter of support to the provincial NDP government in relation to its planned universal child care program. The provincial government launched a pilot program in November 2018 with 53 participating daycares across the province which models the cost for parents at $200 per month per child.

Penticton’s Kinderplace OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre is one of the participating daycares and operates with 20 spaces for children under 36 months, 32 spaces for children ages three to five years and 2o preschool spaces. The program is expected to run until Mar. 31, 2020.

READ MORE: Penticton location selected for $10-a-day child care pilot project

One Penticton mother and advocate for more affordable child care spaces approached the city about supporting the provincial government’s child care initiative after she noticed a shortage in the area. Amanda Burnett began collecting stories from local parents struggling to find a suitable daycare for their children. From there, she launched the Facebook page Waitlisted Project BC to share the responses and start a dialogue about what can be done.

Burnett presented to city council during the committee of the whole on Tuesday, alongside Sharon Gregson, the provincial spokesperson of the $10aDay Child Care campaign with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC. The coalition and the Early Childhood Educators of BC first proposed the $10aDay campaign in 2011.

“In B.C. now we’re getting close to 600,000 children (ages) zero to 12, and the vast majority of those children have mothers in the paid workforce. And yet we only have just over 100,000 licensed child care spaces,” said Gregson during the presentation. “So we have a lot of children in unregulated, and perhaps, low quality child care sector which is of concern. Child care is also unaffordable for many working families, it’s not unusual for families to pay a bill of over $1,000 a month for children between the ages of one to three, $750 for three to five year olds is not unusual, and in some communities you can pay over $2,000 for child care for one child.”

READ MORE: Penticton mom seeking change in province’s childcare system

Gregson said the UBC uses the Early Development Instrument, which is a measurement of the population health of five year olds in the province. She said Penticton’s school district is on par with the province’s average of 32 per cent vulnerability.

“This means 32 per cent of the province’s five year olds are already considered vulnerable on one of the five developmental domains (physical, social, emotional, language and communication). It’s measured by school districts and in SD67 it’s at 32 per cent, which has actually gone up from 29 per cent in 2004/2007,” said Gregson.

Gregson said this is due to public policy not keeping up with “changing times and changing nature of families.” Burnett said she’s please with council’s decision to endorse the program, but said she’d like to see a city staff member dedicated to exploring child care options for the city and watching for grants that become available to that end.

“I think it’s a really good step forward, they saw the vulnerability index for children in our community. And they saw that it’s good for our community, it’s good for the families who live here and for the children, and for the economy as well,” said Burnett. “I hope to work with them in the future to improve childcare in our community.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Penticton fighter announces professional MMA debut with Battlefield Fight League

Marlan ‘Pretty Boy’ Hall will be taking the ring on Nov. 16 at the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam

LocoLanding flowers brighten seniors’ day in Penticton

The many flowers that bloom in LocoLanding during the summer brighten the day for seniors

Man cycles across B.C. Interior for sobriety

Vancouver Island Resident Matt Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Popular Bird Migration Day open house happening this weekend

Event focuses on bird adaptation to migration, bird conservation issues and threats and bird banding

Okanagan inmate who allegedly assaulted prisoners and officer gets trial extension

Afshin Maleki Ighani appeared in Penticton Supreme Court on Monday

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Kelowna boy returns to school after recovering from possible Xanax OD

RCMP investigation found the drug to be a form of benzodiazepine, commonly known as Valium or Xanax

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Facebook group forms committee against Thompson Nicola R.V. crackdown

Group discusses issues with regional R.V. bylaw at recent meeting

Most Read