Must do event for child care workers

Inaugural Early Years conference offers several options

The First Annual Cariboo Chilcotin Early Years Conference is slated for Thompson Rivers University campus in Williams Lake on Oct. 4-5.

The conference is co-hosted by 100 Mile House Child Care Resource & Referral (CCRR) and the Williams Lake CCRR in partnership with Success by 6 and Children First.

The doors for this fun, informative networking event will open Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. Participants can network with colleagues, sample authentic appetizers and be impressed by provincial family policy advocate and presenter Dr. Paul Kershaw at 6:30. He is an associate professor at UBC Human Early Learning Partnership, and one of Canada’s leading thinkers about family policy.

Here is an excerpt of Dr. Paul Kershaw’s recent column B.C. families need better policies:

“Although Canadians may disagree about a lot of things, most share a common aspiration to look after aging family members and give a good start to younger ones.

“That’s why growing numbers from all walks of life have been inspired to join the Generation Squeeze campaign. They are concerned that governments pit the health of grandparents against the well-being of their kids and grandchildren when governments budget around $45,000 annually per retiree, compared to just $12,000 per person under the age of 45.

“The Generation Squeeze campaign’s goal is simple – to shine a light on the spending imbalance between younger Canadians and retirees. Although the spending gap is large, the problem isn’t spending on seniors.

“Twenty-nine per cent of Canadian seniors were poor in 1976. But because we now allocate $45,000 annually per retiree, primarily to their medical care and retirement income security, we’ve reduced poverty among seniors to around five per cent – lower than any other age group today.

“Young people’s wages are down around 18 per cent, despite devoting more time to post-secondary than any previous generation.

“With lower wages, they must pay housing prices that are 150 per cent higher. This means the typical young person must work 15 years to save a 20 per cent down payment on an average home today. A generation ago, it took only five years. So you can see why younger generations feel squeezed between time and money pressures.

“For many, this time and money squeeze happens around the same time they’d like to start their own families.

“The problem is they can’t work their way out of the squeeze without compromising time at home when their kids are young. But if they take this time, many compromise the financial foundation they’ve patched together by devoting more time to the labour market.

“Fortunately, there are solutions….”

Hear the three policies Dr. Paul Kershaw says will reduce the problems for Generation Squeeze someday.

Dr. Kershaw’s presentation will be followed by musical entertainment.

On Oct. 5, the doors will open at 8:30 a.m. and participants will be able to choose from many educational sessions, including: Making sense of frustration in children; Laughter Yoga; Caring for the Caregiver; and Red Flags and Tough conversations.

Participants must register for the two-day conference by Sept. 27 and the fee is $75.

Friday night only registration is $35; and Saturday night only is $55.

For more information, contact Erica Henderson, 100 Mile House CCRR, at 250-395-5155, or Bullah Munson, Williams Lake CCRR, at 250-392-4118.