A comprehensive early learning and child care program, including provisions for special needs children and pay increases for child care workers (most of whom earn less than the living wage), should be a high priority for the province. Child care fees are the second-largest expense for most young families after housing. Moreover, there is a shortage of child care spaces and the quality of care available is inconsistent across providers. Providing this service publicly would remove a huge financial burden from thousands of low-income households.
What’s in the government’s TogetherBC Plan?
- ChildCareBC plan invests $1 billion over three years to deliver:
- Universal Child Care Prototype Sites with a maximum of $10 a day fees.
- The Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative where public funds are lowering fees by up to $350, for the more than 90% of eligible programs that have opted-in.
- The Affordable Child Care Benefit acting as an income-tested subsidy providing needed short-term relief but not lowering fees sustainably.
What Priority Actions are We Still Fighting For?
- Adopt the $10aDay Child Care Plan produced by the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and the Early Childhood Educators of BC, which will provide free child care for those earning less than $40,000 per year, increase the number of child care spaces, support high-quality programming and ensure early childhood educators are paid a living wage. Next steps to entrench the plan and build an effective public system.
- Accelerate the expansion of Universal $10 a day Child Care Prototype Sites and the Fee Reduction Initiative to reduce the need for subsidies.
- Move child care to the Ministry of Education and create a child care capital budget to build new publicly owned child care facilities.
- Increase wages for Early Childhood Educators, develop and implement a provincial wage grid and increase access to training.
For more information, please read the following resources:
- Take Action for a strong Poverty Reduction Strategy
- ABC plan policy brief
- “What’s in the Government’s Plan? What are we still fighting for?” poster
- $10aDay Child Care Campaign website
- Socio-Economic Impact Analysis of the $10aDay Child Care Plan for British Columbia (Centre for Spatial Economics, January 2017)
- BC Poverty Reduction Coalition’s submission to the Poverty Reduction Consultations
- Long Overdue: Why BC needs a poverty reduction plan