Study calls for $10-per-day child care to end daycare 'crisis'
A new report says the shortage of affordable, high-quality daycare in B.C. has created a “crisis” for families and is violating the rights of women and children.
"High Stakes," written by a women’s rights lawyer at West Coast LEAF, calls on the B.C. government to immediately implement a $10-per-day child care plan.
"The current state of child care is failing women and children," said West Coast LEAF Director of Law Reform Kendra Milne.
"Low income single mothers, indigenous women, people with disabilities, they are in crisis right now."
The report, based on the experiences of 15 women, found that a lack of affordable child care can undermine economic stability in families, and even lead to mental health issues.
Milne said some study participants reported child care fees of more than $1,800 per month.
It suggests that child care fees for families earning more than $40,000 per year be capped at $300 per month, and it should be free for families earning below that amount.
They suggest government funding could cover the remainder of the costs.
But B.C. Premier Christy Clark said the proposed plan would cost billions in government funding and take more than a decade to roll out.
"I think that we should be supporting the poorest among us, more than we should be supporting the richest among us," she said.
Anna Geeroms, the mother of twins, says she works a full-time job in order to pay for her $1,000 in child care fees.
She waited over a year for a pair of child care spaces, and chose to share two of them with another family so she could save 40 per cent of the costs.
Her parents take care of the twins while they're not in daycare, which amounts to a $700 per month savings. But Geeroms knows other families aren't as lucky.
"I have good child care at this point, but there are so many people desperate for that access," she said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Jonathan Glasgow