There aren’t enough affordable childcare options to support Victoria’s growing families. It’s a constant worry and source of anxiety for many. Waitlists for childcare can be 18 months long. This means families must apply for childcare 6 months before the child is even born. Many issues regarding child care fall under provincial and federal jurisdiction, but municipally, I am advocating for childcare spaces to be created on existing city property. New developments providing community amenities can be encouraged to build childcare spaces too. I also want to ensure commercial zoning and business permits are not delayed and the city is not a barrier for new childcare spaces to be developed after due diligence for the health and safety of our children is taken.
“Finding affordable and reliable daycare in Victoria has been a frustrating and stressful experience for myself and other parents I know. The cost of living in Victoria makes daycare a necessity for my family, and I felt like I was taking on a part-time job trying to find a spot for my child.”
Sarah, mother of a 2 year old
Fernwood, Oaklands, Hillside/Quadra have some of the highest densities of toddlers, yet there is no library within 30 mins walking distance. Residents of these communities must choose between heading downtown or using libraries in Oak Bay or Saanich. These are also the areas that have the most vulnerable children and low-income families.
The sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ Library in James Bay is less than 8 blocks from the Central Library, yet there isn’t a library where it’s needed most. We must make library resources more accessible.
Little Libraries are prevalent, but not enough to meet the literacy needs of our children. Having a pick up and drop off location in Fernwood, Oaklands, and Hillside/Quadra will make libraries more accessible to low income individuals.
Libraries are even more than books and educational resources. It is one of the only places where one may gather or rest without the obligation of purchasing something. In a heat wave, libraries are an indoor refuge. For those without access to the internet, libraries are the world at their fingertips. Library access is an equity issue.