Nanaimo – Tony Harris says government needs to look at new ideas to help create more child care spaces and ensure those spaces are affordable:
“Child care is a critical issue for hard working families in Nanaimo and we need government to start thinking creatively about how we can deliver more affordable child care spaces in our city.
We know child care space shortages create undo stress on Nanaimo families who need more spaces and more choices now.
As the NDP government moves away from market-based child care providers who represent about 80 per cent of the providers in B.C., we need more collaboration between public and private providers as well as between the government and private-sector, not less.
We know many businesses lose productivity when parents spend too much time juggling child care. I’m calling on government to look at piloting an incentive-based idea for businesses to allocate more physical space in their operations where space is available, convert these spaces into child care facilities and provide business with operators to directly provide the service to families.
While more spaces are needed, so are more child care providers and it’s government’s responsibility to ensure access to training and recruitment programs are working to ensure we have enough providers.
The NDP recently announced more than 50 “prototype” sites for their universal child care pilot and while three centres in Nanaimo applied to be included, all were declined by the NDP. As one of the largest cities outside the lower mainland, our city deserves more from Victoria and this is another example of Nanaimo being taken for granted.
Affordable child care is an issue everyone is concerned about. Private providers, unions, government and business all have a responsibility to be flexible and creative on how we ensure our families have accessible and affordable child care.
Child care is another reason why I’m running and asking voters for a chance to serve – hire me and I’ll work my tail off. Nanaimo voters have a tremendous opportunity right here in front of them to send a new voice to Victoria for the better this by-election.”
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