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Child care advocates push for more spaces [CA-BC]

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Plant, Don
Publication Date: 
23 May 2007

See text below.


A coalition of child-care advocates is challenging Interior Health officials to survey their employees about the day-care shortage.

The Community Action Toward Children's Health (CATCH) coalition, which speaks to IH's board of directors in Vernon today, is targeting the health authority because it employs the most workers (about 4,600) in the Central Okanagan.

"We want them to find . . . how child care is related to the motivation of their staff and their business operation," said CATCH manager Menno Salverda.

"Every business here faces a challenge in retaining labour. We think there's a link with child care."

In 2006, 389 licensed spaces were open to children under three in the Central Okanagan -- about nine per cent of the 4,314 infants and toddlers in the region, according to the local school district.

Out-of-towners who have landed jobs here are being turned down because of the shortage.



Some facts about the child-care shortage, based on figures from the local school district and StatsCan:

- 8,480 children six and younger lived in the Central Okanagan in March 2006.

- 1,866 licensed spaces (22 per cent) were available for that age group; all were filled, with waiting lists.

- 4,314 children under three lived in the Central Okanagan.

- 389 licensed spaces (nine per cent) were available; all were filled, with waiting lists.

- 6,155 families (27 per cent) in the Central Okanagan had one parent, according to the 2001 census.

- 76 per cent of all local parents worked in 2001.

- reprinted from the Kelowna Daily Courier