What do you call a business relationship if you share a home for 38 years? Common Law? According to the Kits Neighborhood House (KNH), the Kitsilano Day Care Society (KDS) is just another tenant, after jointly serving the community on the same site for almost 4 decades. In a nutshell, It Bites. But like a jilted significant other, a bitter lesson learned. KDS hasn’t signed a lease since the 70’s, because we have always worked out our differences with KNH for the mutual benefit of the community. Now the daycare will be left homeless as of August 31st, and at the mercy of seemingly apathetic provincial and municipal government administrations. We shouldn’t have to beg for a child’s fundamental right to accessible quality child care in our community, but so far, assurances offered by the Premier have not come to fruition. Meanwhile, parents continue to work tirelessly to salvage their daycare.
Grant you, we can put on a world-class Olympics, shell out millions in tax dollars for a roof over BC Place stadium and even house chickens in our backyard, but when it comes to finding a corner for a viable full-day group child care program that is a non-profit society, operates at full capacity for 25 children under 6 years of age and has a two year wait list, wellâ€¦ that becomes just too much of a commitment. Never mind the fact that working families rely on these essential community supports in order to make income to pay our taxes into the vortex of the BC economy. The government should keep in mind that children are the future, and people are going to make babies. More daycares, not less, would be ideal.
Anyone walking around Kitsilano on any given weekend will wonder, where did all these kids come from? The playgrounds are stacked with tots, toddler programs are brimming at the max, and parents face daunting wait lists to get one of the less than 13 spots for every 100 children under 6 years of age in the Westside. The BC Atlas of Child Development shows that in the Westside, Kitsilano is the most densely populated area with children 0- 6 years of age and is at the most risk for early childhood vulnerability. The Human Early Learning Partnerships (HELP) at UBC released a government-funded report with one of the recommendations to preserve and build on child care capacity in communities to reduce these risks. The report states that risks for early childhood vulnerability are more populous in middle income families of which Kitsilano is a majority. Out of all of the industrialized nations, UNICEF has graded Canada 1 out of 10 for investing in early childhood programs and BC is the lowest out of all the provinces in that regardâ€¦ No Olympic medal there!
KDS comes from true Kitsilano roots after it started at 7th & Vine in the 70’s by KNH. Shortly after, the families in the community took over the Daycare and formed a Society. This daycare has been built, supported and operated by the community and helped to nurture our children’s development in their readiness for Kindergarten. Our hope is to preserve this legacy, despite the odds, for future generations and that some bright corner of Kitsilano will welcome KDS into their new home.
The KDS families need help in our fight to save our daycare and to relocate by August 31st. Our petition is available at www.ipetitions.com/petition/savekitsilanodaycare and any contacts for relocation would be greatly appreciated. You never know, you could be the one to help save the daycare!
KDS is hosting an Open House “Celebrating our Families” summer fun event on June 27th 11-2pm and welcomes the families in the community to join in the activities. Come join us and see what a truly special program we have.
Last modified: June 21, 2010