Elections 2011

CATCH has submitted a short list of questions to our local candidates and have posted their responses here.  Question source: First Call and Campaign 2000

Here are the questions we asked:

Civic

1    In what ways will you help make your community more child friendly (for example: safe routes to school and access to services), and how will you report your progress?


 

2    How will you help children in your community find housing that is safe, comfortable and does not cost more than 30% of the family budget, and how will you report your progress?

 

3   What will you do to increase access to community owned resources and facilities to improve early childhood development (for example: co-location of services in public buildings and  remove barriers to wider use of public buildings), and how will you report your progress?

4   What will you do to encourage businesses to be more child friendly (for example: breastfeeding friendly policies and child safe public spaces), and how will you report your progress?

 

5    As an elected mayor, councillor or trustee, how will you ensure that all council and board decisions are made from a child friendly perspective, and how will you keep residents aware of your advocacy for children?

Federal

  1. CHILD POVERTY - It is well documented that family income level has a significant influence on lifelong health. Income sufficiency is essential to pay for the many costs of personal health care and developmental activities not covered or adequately supported through government social programs. Child poverty can also impact future educational opportunities and lifelong contribution to personal and community economic growth. 
    • What will you and your party do to reduce the existence of child poverty in Canada?
  2. AFFORDABLE HOUSING - Housing is the greatest cost faced by families with children, particularly in the Central Okanagan, and in some areas availability is limited at any reasonable cost. Without affordable housing, access to proper nutrition, health care and other important developmental activities is not possible.  
    • What will you and your party do to improve access to affordable housing?
  3. EARLY HEALTH SCREENING AND TIMELY INTERVENTION - Children can be affected by many health conditions in the early years. Prevention, early detection and timely intervention are all necessary to eliminate or reduce the impact of many of these conditions, yet access to timely intervention remains unavailable for many children in the Central Okanagan.  
    • What will you and your party do to improve access to early detection and timely interventions?
  4. CHILD CARE The reality is that most families have two working parents who depend on the availability of high quality child care to provide income sufficiency. Major barriers to access to child care are commonly related to the cost and associated lack of availability of qualified staff, facilities and services.
    • What will you and your party do to improve access to high quality child care?
    • Universal Child Care - A universally accessible system of early childhood education and care services (ECEC) is a critical element in a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy. The patchwork of services in most of the country outside of Quebec means there are only enough regulated ECEC spaces for 17.2% of children (0 – 12 years).
    • Will your party commit to make a system of high quality ECEC a reality over the next decade for all who want it? If so, what steps would you take to implement that
      commitment?
    • Will your party improve maternity/parental leave policy to complement the new ECEC
      program?
  5. EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT - On average, about 1 in 4 children in our community continue to enter the school system deficient in one or more areas of development. In some areas of the Central Okanagan, the number is much higher. While development in language and cognition is generally better, development in areas such as physical health, social competence, emotional maturity and communication skills lags behind. Participation in early childhood education programs has been demonstrated to provide significant developmental improvements.
    • What will you and your party do to improve access to early childhood development programs in addition to those provided through quality child care programs?
  6. PARENTAL AND FAMILY SUPPORTS - The number of multi-generational families continues to decline. Relocation for education and work opportunities reduce the availability of traditional family supports. Access to community based programs that help create interpersonal connections and develop parental skills is essential to compensate for the loss of traditional family supports. 
    • What will you and your party do to improve support for non-governmental organizations that provide supplemental support for families?

Provincial
  1. Child care: BC families with children face child care fees as high as $1600 per month for one child and long wait lists for spaces in licensed centres. Will you support the creation of a comprehensive publicly-funded, non-profit system of early childhood care and education that features high quality care, is universally available to all children, including those with special needs, and is affordable for all who take advantage of it?
  2. Reducing early years vulnerability: What are your priorities for action to reduce BC’s
    early childhood vulnerability rate to the goal of 15% by 2015? (Please list at least 3.)
  3. Community use of schools: Will you support increased funding for community use of
    schools or neighbourhood learning centres in the next provincial budget?

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