Over 3,000 families mark BC's first family day by demanding affordable childcare

VANCOUVER, Feb. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Over 3,000 BC families are marking the province's first family day holiday by urging the government to commit to implementing a new $10 a day childcare system.

"On BC's first family day holiday, the government should recognize that young families are financially squeezed. Paying for childcare - when it's even available - is like having to pay for housing twice," says BCGEU President Darryl Walker. Childcare costs an average of $9,000 per year for a two year old; in Vancouver it's $14,000. However, there is only one licensed childcare space for every five children in BC.

"BC has a childcare crisis: exorbitant fees, not enough spaces and poor working conditions in the sector. We have a solution: a community plan to cap childcare fees to $10 a day and improve early childhood education," says Walker. High fees and lack of childcare spaces means that BC mothers with children under 15 have the lowest labour force participation rate in the whole country. Both the Surrey and Burnaby Boards of Trade have endorsed the $10 a day childcare plan.

In communities across the province, child care workers have collected over 3,000 signed postcards from BC families asking the government to commit to implementing a community plan that proposes a new system of affordable, accessible, publicly funded early care and learning. Municipalities, boards of education, and labour unions - including the BCGEU - also support the $10 a day childcare plan.

For BC family day, the BCGEU is launching a series of online videos and a website at www.cantaffordchildcare.ca where families can petition the government and the official opposition to commit to implementing $10 a day childcare.

The BCGEU is the leading childcare union in British Columbia, representing over 1,500 Early Childhood Educators in 150 bargaining units, ranging from small not-for-profit daycare societies to large institutional childcare centres at UBC, SFU and the YMCA.

Source: http://www.bcgeu.ca/family_day_childcare_130211

SOURCE: B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union

For further information:

Media enquiries: Oliver Rohlfs, BCGEU Communications, (778)318-9164 - oliver.rohlfs@bcgeu.ca