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

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

Daycare

Just Posted

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: Island man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with actor/broadcaster and current Island resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

(pixabay)
Millar: If the world is getting you down, laugh

There is good reason laughter is called humanity’s best medicine

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits Nanoose Bay property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Victoria’s Canoe Brewpub will soon be the eighth Craft Beer Market location in Canada. (Google Maps)
Craft Beer Market buys Victoria’s Canoe Brewpub

Craft Beer Market operates nine locations across Canada

The Neighbourhood Market at Saanich Baptist Church is one of 10 that provide fresh produce to people in need across Greater Victoria. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Daily free food markets offer fresh produce to Greater Victorians in need

Ten Neighbourhood Markets operate across the region

AnimalKind, the BC SPCA’s animal welfare accreditation and referral program, has granted accreditation to Courtenay’s K9 Kind Dog Training & Behaviour Consulting, owned and operated by Carrie Lumsden. Photo supplied
Comox Valley dog trainer joins select club

Carrie Lumsden receives special BC SPCA accreditation

Victoria artist Noah Layne is conducting online workshops on portrait drawing as part of the Metchosin ArtPod’s About Face portrait show. (Photo courtesy of Noah Layne)
Metchosin Art Pod doing an about-face

Renowned artist Noah Layne hosting online classes in portrait drawing

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Suspect causes pain and damage in incident downtown Friday morning

Johnathan Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight charges including sex-related offences against children and accessing, possessing and making or publishing child pornography. (Courtesy of Saanich Police)
Sentencing date moved for Saanich nanny guilty of child porn charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to eight sex offences against children

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Dr. Shannon Waters, the medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region, is reminding people to stay the course with COVID-19 measures. (File photo)
‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

Limit social activity, wash hands, wear a mask, and isolate if you feel sick

Most Read