Affordable and accessible child care is vital to the economy because it creates opportunities for working parents to contribute to the labour force. As such, The Chamber has long called for child care to be considered an investment that attracts families to our region and helps organizations find and keep workers. The provincial government now offers a wage enhancement for Early Childhood Educators and is working with the federal government to reduce the costs that families pay for care.
However, it will take more than funding for new spaces to address the lack of access to child care in Greater Victoria. Our region needs qualified workers for the many positions currently going unfilled.
“Finding an early childhood educator seems like trying to find a unicorn these days,” said Mira Laurence, executive director of the Oaklands Community Association which runs the Oaklands Little Acorn Centre. “There are no people,” Laurence said, in an interview with CHEK News. “The four-dollar top-up doesn’t even seem to be working.”
"We're having discussions with post-secondary institutions as well as with government about how we can get more Early Child Care workers," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "We need to create pathways that lead from school to jobs, or ease immigration for qualified foreign workers. And when we find staff, we need to keep them by making sure they feel valued."