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ABC School Trustees toss out motion to immediately improve access to childcare for Vancouver families

Majority party, working with the Vancouver Greens, rejects Jennifer Reddy’s efforts to use public lands and increase childcare and votes to continue with the inadequate status quo.

VANCOUVER (Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations) - Following the ABC-driven Board tossing of her motion to use School Board lands for childcare, OneCity Trustee Jennifer Reddy issued the following statement:

“While Vancouver families deal with the stress of a childcare shortage, ABC Trustees decided to toss out a motion to immediately improve childcare - and decided to continue with the painfully inadequate status quo.

Families are hurting. That is why I tabled my common-sense motion to build our funding relationship with the Ministry of Ed and Child Care and to use school lands for childcare and before- and after-school care across the city - with a focus on the north- and south-east of the City, which are most in need.

We have the land, we have the space - why not use it to fulfill a pressing need? ABC and Green Trustees could have chosen to make life a little easier for Vancouver parents. Instead, in an unbelievable move, they tossed that motion out regardless of support from childcare advocates, and provincial and federal legislators.

ABC Trustees, instead, passed a motion to maintain existing work - work which has seen no increase in childcare spaces in the last year. The only difference this motion will make is that we will have a public report in March. This is better than nothing. But ABC rejected immediate action! And every day we delay, another parent is stressed, another child wastes hours in a day, and another young family considers moving away from our city, to live in a place where childcare spaces are more readily available.

Our childcare shortage causes pain and stress. It forces caregivers to exchange keys, Vancouverites drive to Richmond and Burnaby in search of childcare spaces, and causes new parents to fret before their children are even born.

Families need spaces, not reports. Reports do not provide child care. Families need action, not words. Families need real childcare, not vague promises that we are doing enough.

Every second spent driving a child to daycare is a second that child is not learning, playing or growing. Vancouver families deserve so much better.”

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