Under sunny skies women and children in Williams Lake took to the streets Tuesday to raise awareness about affordable childcare in B.C.
As they walked in a a group from Boitanio Mall to Kiwanis Park some pushed strollers, others carried signs. Some of the participants did both.
One sign read “Wake Up and Smell The Crayons,” another one noted “$10 a day” referring to the national push for a $10 a day childcare plan.
“Moms and dads are telling me it is difficult to find affordable quality child care,” said Beulah Munson, manager of children’s services at the Women’s Contact Society.
“It’s not uncommon for multiple families to visit me in one week telling me infant and toddler spaces are hard to find in Williams Lake.”
In a resource-based community like Williams Lake, many people work after 5 p.m., Munson added, which makes it a challenge because child care isn’t readily available after hours.
“It’s a community issue as well, “Munson insitsted. “When professionals and business people are leaving because they cannot find child care within the community they are unable to provide services,” she added.
Shaunda Navrot, who joined the walk with her two-year-old son Emett and mother-in-law Eva Navrot, said she was happy with the child care her son was provided at a local child care centre when she was working as surgery nurse at the hospital.
“But once I took a leave for medical reasons, I couldn’t afford to pay the $40 a day for the care,” Shaundra added.
The walk was organized by the Early Development Childhood Network, a group that meets monthly in Williams Lake made up of agencies that serve children ages 0 to 6.