$5 million child care commitment ensures Vancouver to remain a daycare leader

Last year’s council decision to invest the $5 million 2012 operating surplus in the child care reserve was the largest single commitment to child care in the city’s history.

But a council update today on the reserve indicates Vancouver is leading in a race where Canada and BC are trailing the world. What’s more, tens of thousands of Vancouver children who need child care have no access.

With 2,900 city-supported spaces in 53 facilities, the city is making a very substantial contribution, but fees remain ruinously high — up to $1,200 a month, equivalent to a mortgage — particularly for children under three.

The city has set a goal of adding 500 additional spaces between 2012 and 2014. They’re a good investment.

As Dr. John Carsley, Vancouver’s medical health officer, told council “socially and economically [child care] pays back” in dramatically reduced rates of chronic disease for children who find a spot.