Smithers Town Council says they will be requesting a meeting with BC’s Minister of State for Child Care, Katrina Chen in regards to the town’s childcare crisis.
In December, town council received a letter from concerned parents regarding the lack of childcare resources, especially for children under 30 months.
According to the letter, the lack of child care is due to staffing shortages and how it is at a crisis level.
Councillor Casda Thomas said she understands first hand that child care has always been a challenge in the community.
“It’s the reason why I think we did the child care needs assessment because we needed to know where we stood and it opened potential funding opportunities for space creation,” she said.
Thomas added that she plans on bringing forward solutions at upcoming government meetings which include, North Central Local Government Association and the Union of BC Municipalities.
The letter also added that the housing crisis is also reflective of the lack of child care because of Early Childhood Educator’s not being able to find places to live.
Thomas also said she appreciated the link to housing.
“I think it’s very valid and it’s an issue that other sectors have identified, that folks cannot find housing and so, they don’t move here and take the job, the same is happening with child care and I think the housing issue is certainly pronounced for lower paying jobs,” she said
Town council is hoping to have the meeting as soon as possible.
An update is also expected for the parents who tabled the letter by Councillor Thomas and Mayor Gladys Atrill.