Provide Universal Publicy-Funded Child Care

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. In the Fraser Valley living wage calculation, child care outpaces housing as the number-one expense. 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.

Priority Action:

  • 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. Fully adopting the plan would mean:
    • Improving the wages of early childhood educators promptly with an interim stage of ensuring a living wage and a final goal of an average wage of $25/hour plus 20% benefits (unadjusted for inflation) on full implementation
    • Continuing to increase the number of licensed child care spaces and support high-quality programming
    • Prioritizing expanding the fee reduction program so that the affordable child care benefit can be reduced over time until free child care is provided directly to low-income families

For more information, please read the following resources: