Personally, when I talk to women, one of the biggest gaps remaining is the access to child care, because as we move from province to province, we end up on a waiting list. We don't have the luxury of waiting for two years to get a spot, because two years later we're posted again. The uncertainty of getting access to child care when serving members move has a huge impact on them.
It's not about the cost of child care. Of course, less is great, but it's not the cost. It's the availability of child care and also the availability of child care that supports our needs. We don't work seven to four. We work 24-7, on weekends and on call, so having secure access to child care is very important.
Again, I go back to my story as a maritime helicopter pilot flying a Sea King in Shearwater. My husband was deployed. I had to land a Sea King in the parking lot in an emergency. It was quarter to six, and the day care was closing at six. Who could pick up the children? Those are the stressors that, honestly, we don't need. There are enough stressors in the military. Having access to child care should not be one of them.
My wish would be for better child care access for all of CAF members, women and men.