Esquimalt Coun. Meagan Brame, owner/operator of Saxe Point Daycare, says the province may be kicking in more funding for child-care facilities but they still aren’t addressing the issue of staffing them. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Victoria area child-care provider says new funding missed the point

Boost for spaces, facilities, fails to address staff shortages

B.C. may have announced $33 million in funding for child care last week, but those working in the industry say the province is still missing the point.

Esquimalt Coun. Meagan Brame has owned and operated Saxe Point Daycare since the early ’90s. She says the recent announcement only addresses building or purchasing new facilities, not staffing them.

“We’re already in crisis” she says. “I’m worried that they’re creating all these spaces that could be open by next summer or fall and there’s not anyone to staff them.”

RELATED: B.C. to create 3,800 childcare spaces within two years

Brame employs three full-time staff who care for 16 children aged three to five. She feels lucky that she hired her employees when they were students at Camosun College’s Early Learning and Care program.

But this year just 22 will graduate from the course, many of whom have been “snatched up before they’re even done practicum,” Brame says.

RELATED: Victoria daycare operators concerned over lack of qualified staff

On Dec. 4, Esquimalt council approved an rezoning application by the owners of Super Genius Academy, another daycare centre.

“We wanted to expand group daycare from eight children to 16,” explains Luz Mary Calderon, a former teacher who owns and operates Super Genius as well as Little Genius Academy, both on Dominion Road.

“It’s not easy,” she says. “Daycare is not a business you get into to make money, you do it because you love children.”

Two part-time staff provide care for children aged three to five at Super Genius, but when eight more kids come through the door, Calderon says she’ll need to hire at least one more person.

The wait list for both academies is currently 40 families long.

“It’s really frustrating for me to see the families and mothers who say I can’t go to work because I have nowhere to leave my child,” Calderon says.

Brame feels the province could have addressed these issues with the previous budget. “They could have done some really easy things like increase subsidy rates for lower-income families.”

The price for care for a subsidized child is $550 per month, a rate that hasn’t seen an increase in over a decade, she says. Typically, parents of the children who attend Saxe Point pay just over $800 per month.

“My staff need proper wages. Every year I try to give them a reasonable raise.”

RELATED: UVic, Arbutus add combined 92 child care spots

Infant/toddler care is the most expensive to open and operate because of the added cost of resources like cribs and high chairs, Brame says, so many facilities combine age groups because it is the three-to-five year olds that tend to get subsidized. That also leaves fewer spots for infants and toddlers.

For the roughly 448 child-care spaces the province has said it wants to create for Greater Victoria, Brame estimates a minimum of 60 early childhood educators will be required. “Are we going to sacrifice quality for quantity? Good programs are hard to come by and I think parents need to be aware of that.”

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Historic gold rush-style steam crawler to be showcased on the North Island

Construction for historic Hornsby Crawler structure approved for Coal Harbour

SYMPHONY SPLASH: Movie music keeps things fun at Splash

Victoria Symphony event is far more than just a classical music concert

Campbell River ‘WWII aficionado’ checks something off his bucket list

‘Ironically, as noisy and hot as the old bird is, it brings about a deep sense of euphoria and calm’

EDITORIAL: ‘Dislike’ of homeless people a red herring

Negative actions of the few do little to engender empathy for plight of unhoused campers

From chip bags to dirty jars, touring Greater Victoria’s recycling processing plant

Cascades Recovery in Rock Bay processes about 66,000 kilograms of materials per day

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Bathtub racing has new world champ

Trevor Short wins the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race in Nanaimo

Multi-vehicle crash along the Malahat leaves traffic crawling

Southbound lane heavily delayed at Malahat Summit

Ticats deal Johnny Manziel to Montreal Alouettes

Hamilton trades ‘Johnny Football’ in CFL swap involving 5 players

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

Truck catches fire between Tofino and Ucluelet

“We do recommend that everybody carries a fire extinguisher in their vehicle for just that reason.”

Most Read