09/06/2012 09:18 EDT | Updated 11/06/2012 05:12 EST

Private B.C. Daycare Companies An Expensive Option


Private companies are increasingly an option for parents desperate to find daycare for their children, but the for-profit facilities come at a high price and could be driving up the cost of all daycare, critics say.

North Vancouver parent Alicia Savin is weighing her options for her son Jack and she's not sure what she'll do when it's time to go back to work.

A key factor is cost.

"Unless you are making a lot of money at your job, it is hard to make ends meet," Savin said.

One option for parents like Savin is Kids and Company, a daycare chain that has recently opened a location in North Vancouver. The company’s business model involves corporations paying fees to guarantee space for employees’ children.

But the employee still has to pay about $50 a day per child.

"If the government wanted to pay for child care, I think it would be great for everyone but it has been unfailingly turned down from the province and from the country, so we have stepped in,” said Kids and Company spokeswoman Victoria Sopik. "And more importantly corporate Canada has stepped in by saying, ‘We want our employees to be able to come back to work.’”

Sharon Gregson, head of the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C., says child care has gone “from bad to scary” for most families.

In the past, Gregson struggled to find affordable child-care options for her four children.

She says for-profit companies are capitalizing on a failing public system, so her group has devised a proposal that would see a $10-a-day childcare solution.

The B.C. government has already dismissed the proposal as too costly.