I can’t say it enough: we need affordable childcare for families in the lower mainland! (well, everywhere it is needed, but given I live in the lower mainland, this is where I am concentrating my efforts).

I often joke with my younger colleagues at work about how I have ‘PTSD’ just thinking about the days when we (my husband and I- but let’s face it, mainly it was me) looked for childcare, and tried to pay for childcare. If it wasn’t for the fact that my job offered such good benefits (pension, extended health), I likely would have packed it in and stopped working. Of course, we needed my income too, but I was barely taking anything home after paying for childcare. I am a teacher, so I can’t imagine what other people do, with less income and no benefits. I suspect many women left their jobs. (and yes summers off as a teacher helped- but that was only when my kids got to school age. Teachers aren’t paid in the summers, so we were forever giving up childcare spots and then looking for spots again in September before our kids turned 5).

We juggled through having a nanny- at least laundry would get done too- to then going back to daycare (which was minimally less expensive with 2 kids in daycare compared to having a nanny). The problem with daycare was we had to be there at a certain time to make sure kids were picked up which can be hard to do, when traffic was at its worst.

From talking to my younger colleagues, many of us know this childcare struggle. And our society needs these kids- we need people to have kids to grow into healthy, tax-paying citizens for our community to function. For that matter, we need the parents at work which also helps our tax system. Besides which, it is the decent thing to do- to make sure children and families are well taken care of.

Kudos to Sharon Gregson of the the $10 a day childcare initiative. Every person in their 50s should sign any petition to push our politicians to make sure affordable daycare is offered to families.

Yes, let’s get politicians to recognize how important and urgent this is.

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I am a teacher in the lower mainland, juggling teens and living ethically...

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