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Lobby group pushes for universal child care [CA-BC]

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Meissner, Dirk
Publication Date: 
13 Jan 2005

See text below.


A B.C. child care group is using a poster campaign to push the federal government into keeping its election promise of providing an affordable national day care system.

Provincial and territorial ministers are to meet with their federal counterpart Ken Dryden, minister of social development, some time within the next month to continue talks on a proposed $5-billion plan.

The poster shows a little girl shaking her piggy bank, but it takes more than a few extra nickels and dimes to pay for day care for children, spokeswomen for the B.C. Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition said Wednesday.

It costs B.C. families $7,944 to keep one child in full-time day care for a year, according to the group.

"Families deserve access to high-quality, affordable child care," says the poster, the third in the coalition's public awareness program.

The coalition urged Canadians to write their provincial and federal politicians and remind them about the importance of a national day care system.

Successive federal governments have promised a national day care solution for years, but those promises have all turned out to be empty, said Mab Oloman, a B.C. Coalition of Child Care Advocates spokeswoman.

She said her children are now in their late 20s. She's been lobbying for improved federal day care since when she needed it for her own children.

A spokesman for Dryden's department said a federal day care program is still a priority for Paul Martin's Liberal government.

The meeting between the federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for child care is still being arranged. Its agenda includes developing the strategy to implement a national day care system, the official said.

The meeting will occur within the next month.

The B.C. child care coalition wants the national system to be publicly funded and affordable.

The goal of the national system is quality, universal inclusiveness, accessibility and developmental, said the federal official.

- reprinted from the Victoria Times-Colonist