According to Dr. Paul Kershaw there are two things that the generation raising kids has that no other generation raising kids has had and that is CRUSHING DEBT and necessary child care. Part of the reason for this is that our household incomes have not gone up in the past 30 years (if adjusted for inflation) but our cost of living has gone up like crazy. If it now takes two people to make what one could in 1976, and the cost of housing has gone up as much as 120% then most families have no choice but to become two income households. This means that child care must be factored into the monthly budget as a necessity alongside housing, food and clothing. Kershaw likens to cost of having one child in full-time child care as equivalent to a second mortgage! Two children in full-time care costs more than university. When I was a child my parents had a cabin – I have child care.
It’s sad but true – child poverty in British Columbia is the second highest in Canada and has been for far too long. When families must choose between living in poverty on a single income or spending a fortune paying for daycare sometimes what gets cut from the budget is food and clothing. This difficult decision is faced by parents all the time and causes a huge amount of stress in the home.
Is there a way out of this cycle of poverty and stress? YES. We need to realise that child care is not a choice. With dual income families as the norm child care is now a necessity. It’s time to see child care as a right and demand that our proud social fabric reflects that. Please take a look at the Community Plan for a Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning here http://www.cccabc.bc.ca/plan/ and consider endorsing it. By doing so you are saying NO to child poverty in BC, NO to the inequality of Early Learning and Care opportunities for our children and YES to a Canada that supports our families.