02/14/2013 01:09 EST | Updated 04/16/2013 05:12 EDT

B.C. Daycare Costs Are Crippling Families


Earlier this week I posted on my Facebook page, inquiring if anyone would be willing to speak to the media about what they shell out for daycare each month. The response I got was overwhelming.

From part-time costs at about $600/month to one friend who confided that she spends upwards of $3,000/month on childcare, I was admittedly not shocked. I mean, I know what daycare costs. I have my son in a daycare two days a week, which I consider to be a deal at $38/day.

CTV ran a story about the crippling cost of childcare and highlighted how the Surrey and Burnaby Boards of Trade are pushing for Universal Child Care — much like what happens in Quebec — where daycare would end up costing $10/day. A huge savings to families, but (arguably) a significant burden on taxpayers.

When I posted the video on my Facebook, I received emotional and mixed reactions:

Childcare (for one child) is our second biggest monthly expense. I wonder if the average daily cost ($40) they are referring to is accurate in Surrey and Burnaby? I certainly don't think it is in Vancouver — my daycare, which seems in line with the going rate here, costs close to 50% more than that, based on 4 days a week. I know several people (all women, unfortunately) who have dropped out of the workforce entirely because the financial burden is too high. — Tara R.

This is a ridiculous idea.Why does it always have to be about the people who are not making enough. At what point do we say "sorry, this would be unfair to the taxpayers, you should have thought it through." And before you start complaining, consider yourself in a situation where you are already paying 35% of your paycheck in taxes, and society is still asking for more. — Mizra R.

Back in the fall when a group of influential "online moms" and I met with Premier Christy Clark, childcare costs was a hot topic. Clark's sentiment is that the burden of daycare is a "temporary" one for families. I disagree.

The high cost of childcare for families in B.C. has long-term impacts. Many families cannot afford to purchase a home because of it. Many women (and men) take themselves out of the workforce because of it. Many families go into debt because of it. Many couples decide not to have children (or more than one child) because of it.

Do you feel childcare costs here are ridiculous? What do you think the solution is?