May is child care month, and celebrations are planned province-wide to honour the excellent work of child care providers.
To celebrate our local providers, the Sunshine Coast Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR) is hosting an information booth and exhibition at Trail Bay Mall in Sechelt May 13 to 15 and at Sunnycrest Mall in Gibsons May 26 and 27.
The Sunshine Coast is currently facing a child care shortage. With only 470 regulated spaces to serve more than 3,000 children, families are struggling to find affordable quality care, especially for children under the age of three.
Even if we are not personally affected, access to child care impacts our community as a whole, both socially and economically.
On the social level, it is well known that the years from birth to age six are the most important developmental years. High-quality learning environments both inside and outside the home have life-long benefits for children’s health and well-being. Research has shown that some benefits include greater success in school, enhanced career opportunities, lower crime rates, and less reliance on social assistance. Quality child care in particular not only helps lower rates of child poverty, but also provides a protective buffer for children living with risk factors.
On the economic level, access to care is good for business. Greater participation in the workforce means that more dollars are put back into the local economy. When parents are secure that their children are safe and well cared for, employers are better able to recruit and retain valuable employees.
Child care also enables parents to attend school to get the training they need to adapt to the rapidly changing job market. Who else will generate the tax revenue to fund health care and other social programs when boomers retire?
Quality child care helps build communities and supports families in their efforts to earn a living and raise healthy children. This May, we invite everyone to stop by our booth to learn about child care and to discuss ways the community can help create the next generation of healthy contributing adults.
The Sunshine Coast Child Care Resource and Referral program can be reached at email@example.com.
The Child Care Action Team (CCAT) is working with the Community Resource Centre’s Progress Plan. For information contact facilitator Hilary Griffiths at 604-740-2222.
© Coast Reporter