Aaron Scott Hildebrandt lived in Vancouver for seven years with his wife, and happily embraced their 450 square ft. apartment as a part of city living. The couple has since relocated to Victoria, and it wasn’t the housing crisis that pushed them out.
It was unbelievably expensive and nearly non-existent child care options.
In an interview with CKNW’s Steele and Drex, Hildebrandt talks about his struggles to find daycare in the city — a topic he wrote about at-length in a recent Vancouver Magazine piece that went viral.
“I was planning to take paternity leave, so we didn’t really think about daycare until a couple months after our daughter was born, and at that point we were already doomed.”
How can it be too late to find daycare when the baby was just born? Hildebrandt says he was surprised to find what Vancouver’s norm was.
“Right off the bat we found out that the parents were really on the ball, there’s one daycare downtown you can actually get on the wait list from the moment you find out you’re pregnant.”
No space anywhere, and no calls back
Hildebrandt and his wife applied to a total of 52 daycares in the city, and heard back from only two. Some required a non-refundable deposit, ranging in price, which also didn’t guarantee any call back or notice that all spaces had been filled.
One in particular had a very heft price tag.
“In order to get on that wait list, you actually had to put down a deposit that equaled an entire month of daycare up front… A month at that daycare cost double what we were paying for rent.”
“It feels like life can just continue here”
Now, Hildebrandt and his family are living easier just a short ferry ride away from the city that pushed them out. He says things are going smoothly and they no longer have to struggle, wondering when his wife would be able to return to work.
He hopes not all families will have to uproot like his did, calling for change in the finishing paragraph of his article.
It’s time for the city to present itself as something more than a youthful fling. It needs to nurture the families, the parents, and the children who grow up here and have a vested interest in the city’s future. It’s time for the city to grow some deeper roots.