DOWNLOAD SUNSHINE COAST HUCKLEBERRY SOCIETY CHILDCARE NEEDSREPORT
In 2012, the Sunshine Coast ECD Planning Table conducted a Coast-wide survey on the current status and needs for child care on the Coast. The Early Childhood Development Planning Table conducted the survey in order to discover:
What is the present state of child care affordability and availability on the Sunshine Coast especially for families seeking Infant & toddler care?
What are families’ child care needs and preferences?
Every effort was made to reach as many families as possible by personal interviews at events such as CCRR Family Christmas Party, “Kidsswap” and The Early Learning Fair.
The on-line survey was advertised in the Coast Reporter and the Sunshine Coast Labour Council distributed the information to its member unions.
Personal efforts by Planning Table members also ensured that it was forwarded the municipal staff and groups involved in education, as well as VOICE on the Coast.
The survey results from the two data sources were merged.
A total of 344 surveys were completed and analyzed.
COST The cost of care relative to family income was a recurring theme. Child Care Subsidies have been lowered and families cannot afford the cost of child care which can mean accessing unlicensed care, working split shifts or cobbling together make-shift arrangements.
FLEXIBILITY Families struggle to find child care during the times when they need it whether that be extended hours for shifts or commuting, non-traditional hours, on-call work or even full time 9-5 Monday through Friday.
CONVENIENT LOCATION Many seem to struggle to meet all their child care needs in one location. They are travelling to different centres in an attempt to find care for their children of different ages and who have different schedules. BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE Families mentioned the lack of programs that meet their needs before school, after school and during school breaks.
QUALITY Concerns were expressed about the quality of care. Some families prefer to care for their children at home or share child care with friends or family because they are unsure of the quality of child care programs. There may be some confusion about “LNR“ and “babysitter”; the training of Early Childhood Educators; as well the quality of programs.
Please note: The Sunshine Coast ECD Planning Table supports ALL healthy parenting and family lifestyles, whether or not the family uses child care outside the home. The purpose of this survey was to collect data on the state of child care at this time in our communities.