Cranbrook Council backs $10 a day for childcare

Cranbrook City Council has backed a resolution that calls for $10 a day childcare in the province.

Cranbrook City Council has backed a resolution that calls for $10 a day childcare in the province.

The resolution was brought forward in the Oct. 21 regular meeting by Coun. Sharon Cross.

“This plan would put 17,189 more women into the workforce and the province would collect $667 million more in taxes,” Cross said.

Cross then read the resolution: “Whereas the lack of childcare in the Cranbrook area means that people are turning away local jobs and not living here or they are having to leave the area, which is an economic barrier for businesses and services in our community; and whereas the $10 a day childcare plan offers a concrete solution to the childcare crisis facing B.C. families; be it therefore resolved that the City of Cranbrook endorse the community plan for a public system of integrated Early Care and Learning.”

The $10 a day program is proposed by the Coalition of Childcare Advocates of B.C. and the Early Childhood Educators of B.C.

The resolution also says that the plan has the potential to make a real difference for B.C. children, families and communities, and that the city urges the provincial government to commit to the plans vision and work with communities to immediately begin its implementation.

Coun. Gerry Warner noted that he had recently read an article about the plan.

“It was actually started in Quebec 20 years ago, in fact by the lady who’s now the premier of Quebec, Pauline Marois. It’s been immensely successful in Quebec and started out at $5 a day,” Warner said.

“When the Liberal Government was elected in Quebec, they raised it to $7, but they were planning to get rid of it completely and there was such a public outcry that they backed off doing that.”

Warner read that one of the unforeseen benefits of the program was that access to this type of affordable daycare has helped a lot more women get employment in Quebec.

“That’s actually resulted in a net economic benefit for the province,” Warner said.

“Plus they were concerned about their falling birthrate and that has started to turn around. Quebec is $7 and a lot of people feel that $10 is a more reasonable number.”

Council passed the resolution.