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ACRD Child Care Space Planning Project
Welcome September! The Alberni Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) Child Care Space Planning Project has been bubbling along throughout the summer and we have some updates for you! As a reminder, the Province of BC has announced expanded investment in the child care sector totalling more than $1 billion over three years. This project will contribute to strong planning at the community level to ensure that investments create child care spaces in ways that meet the greatest needs and are informed by the diversity of families with young children across our region. Here is a snippet of what's been happening:
- 1. 278 PARENT SURVEYS, representing 483 children, have been completed and analyzed.
2. 50 CHILD CARE PROVIDER SURVEYS have been completed and analyzed.
3. ~8 groups of targeted Parent Conversations are underway during early September.
- One-third of respondents are not able to access child care, either because there are insufficient spaces and their children are on a waitlist, or because of other barriers including cost or inflexible hours.
- 77.7% of respondents who are able to access care are happy with the quality of care their children receive.
- When asked about the impacts of barriers to accessing child care, 34% of respondents identified a negative impact on their career, with some parents taking longer, unpaid maternity leave, switching careers, or leaving the workforce permanently. From a respondent that has not been able to find child care: "I had to give up a job that I spent a lot of time working towards. We are now a one income family, which is a significant financial barrier. Our housing may become insecure as a result."