Dialogue needed over child care

EDITORIAL: City joins early childhood educators in promoting $10/day child care

It’s often said that children are our future, but society isn’t putting its money where its mouth is.

The Early Childhood Educators of B.C. are expressing concern about the number of pre-kindergarten children who are not developing adequately because their parents can’t afford to place them in child care.

It’s estimated that 36 per cent of North Okanagan children under the age of five are vulnerable in at least one of the following areas: social, emotional, cognitive, communications or physical.

The implications from doing nothing are significant for society as a whole.

Developmental issues left unaddressed can lead to increased demands on the health care system as the years go by. They can translate into criminal activity and substance abuse. Gaining employment can become a challenge and that places a burden on taxpayers through increased social assistance costs.

The ECEBC is advocating for provincial subsidies so full-time child care only costs parents $10 a day per child.

Nobody likes paying more taxes and some may even consider the plan a form of communism. But how is child care any different than health care or the public school system? We expect that our tax dollars are going to those services for the betterment of our society.

Expanded support for children has been endorsed by the Vancouver Board of Trade and some members of Vernon city council have also provided their voice to the effort.

Given the economy and B.C.’s financial challenges, no rash decision on spending more money should be made.

But it’s definitely time for the government and all British Columbians to enter into a discussion about our future generations.