Local daycares meet City Council, propose Child Care Action Plan
DAWSON CREEK -- A group of daycare workers are taking action in order to improve the quality of child care in Dawson Creek.
Members of the "Building Learning Together Society" (BLTS) met with City Council Monday morning to discuss the need of a child care action plan.
For years, one of the biggest issues in Dawson Creek has been how to find affordable daycare without going through long waiting lists. Now, BLTS are forcing the City to do more than just talk about the problem.
"We just really would like to be the champions," says Johanna Martens, member of BLTS and Executive Director of the Kiwanis Child Care centre, "and be working with the City on this project, to make sure that this can get done, so that the rest of our organizations and the families can really have the child care spaces that they need."
Members of the BLTS ask Dawson Creek City Council to implement an action plan similar to what's been done in Fort St. John, and Chetwynd.
They say there is a big demand for child care spaces, especially for children up to the age of five, which is causing waiting lists that can last anywhere from a few weeks to a year.
Without the City having an action plan, daycare operators say they can't get money from the province, which would help create more daycare spaces, address staff shortages and a lack of facilities.
CJDC-TV News asked Mayor Dale Bumstead why there isn't already an action plan.
"It's a complex issue in terms of how you build child care," Bumstead says, "and the two issues that tend to be most overwhelming, is really facilities. Do you have the facility that can provide appropriate childcare for those different segments, and do you have qualified early childhood educators?"
Martens adds that, because the City hasn't put together that action plan, local daycares cannot access provincial funding.