B.C. child care cuts don’t make economic sense

As Momma J’s maternity leave nears its end, we are starting to look for a good child care centre for Baby G.

Prior to the little guy’s arrival in this world, we enrolled at the local daycare, which only has about eight spaces, so there is no guarantee a space will be available for him come September.

In her efforts to find options, Momma J visited a local child resource centre in the neighbourhood.  It gave her some great information that will not be available after September thanks to the provincial government cuts.

The Provincial government, which is experiencing huge budget surpluses due to a booming economy, is blaming the federal Conservative government for not delivering a national child care plan promised by the Liberals who lost the last election.

In a booming economy cutting child services makes zero sense for two reasons: it is a cut in services that will affect the most needy, and it may begin to cause problems for women who wish to return to work, as they find less and less resources to draw from.

Right now, especially in Western Canada, governments keep talking about labour and skill shortages. Since women are an integral part of this skilled workforce, one would think the government would do things to assist them in coming back to work in a hot economy.

From what I’ve seen in the Lower Mainland, there is a bit of baby boom going on – especially at the thirty-something age. These people are in their prime working years, and are often junior managers, so not assisting them to get back to work could be disastrous for a number of companies in the province.

For example, a friend who is pregnant with her first child told us five other women she works with are in the same boat. At her company, these six women taking maternity leave adds up to 10 per cent of its total workforce.

The company has looked into starting a daycare, as it is a progressive employer, but city bylaws won’t permit it in the building. Add to this two other levels of government that cutting back on child care initiatives, and a few of these women may not be able to come back to work for a few years.

As far as people with little or no income, or those who need shelter and help, it seems rather cold that a government swimming in money is choosing to pull the rug out from underneath them. One would think the failure of the government in the Sherry Charlie case would have smartened everyone in Victoria up. Considering these cuts, this seems not to be the case.

Not delivering child care and cutting resource services for children is counter productive – it could even precipitate a downturn in the economy, as couples strapped for cash could begin to miss mortgage, car and other payments that keep the economy rolling. Companies may also suffer productivity losses as they lose valuable employees for long periods of time. And those with little or no money are forced to suffer even more.

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One Response to B.C. child care cuts don’t make economic sense

  1. Michelle says:

    My friend and I are so upset by these cuts to child care that we started “Parents for Child Care” to try and fight to have the funding restored, and to encourage all levels of government to build child care in Canada.

    This is an excellent post…have you considered forwarding it to the Minister/Premier/PM? I hope so! The more letters they receive on this issue, the more chance we have of seeing them reverse the cuts, and invest in child care!

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