Today's BC Liberal Announcement

Families have been Waiting for 16 Years

Throughout 16 years in government, the BC Liberals could have chosen to make quality child care available and affordable across the province. Instead, they allowed the crisis to grow, particularly over the last four years. While parent fees skyrocketed, the BC Liberal Government consistently underspent their child care budget.

Christy Clark and the BC Liberals now say they will commit $1 billion towards child care in their Throne Speech, creating 60,000 new spaces over four years.

This would have been wonderful news at any time over the last 16 years. Families with young children have struggled through a crippling shortage of licensed child care spaces and sky high parent fees, too often resorting to unregulated care with no monitoring or safety standards. And BC’s Early Childhood Educators have been undervalued, earning poverty-level wages.

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Emily's Story

Many years ago I worked for a child care society that ran multiple child care programs in Northern BC and learned firsthand about the struggles small communities face in developing and maintaining trained Early Childhood Educators. 

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Federal Multilateral Agreement

Federal government releases first National Early Learning and Child Care Framework in over a decade: SMALL STEP FORWARD – MUCH MORE TO DO!

After a decade with no federal leadership on child care, the release of a federal-provincial-territorial Agreement is welcome news but the political flux in BC means our province is not yet a signatory to the Agreement. All other provinces, with the exception of Quebec which already has a system, have signed.

The Agreement recognizes that provinces and territories have the primary responsibility for the design and delivery of early learning and child care systems, such as the popular $10aDay Child Care Plan for BC. While the Agreement and related federal funding commitments fall far short of the federal Liberal government’s promise ‘to deliver affordable, high-quality, flexible and fully inclusive child care for Canadian families’,  families in BC don’t want a political delay in any new federal child care funding.

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Liz's Story

My husband and I had been told that care would be difficult to secure so I started looking when I was pregnant. I was on contract work and when our daughter was 6 weeks old I had to start working again, for 12 hours a week. We were on every waitlist around the city. We kept waiting and waiting and nothing came up. 

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BC Aboriginal Child Care Society

BCACCS renews the From Seed to Cedar campaign

The From Seed to Cedar Campaign is a chance for leadership and communities to support the creation of the IELCC framework, and especially the Child Care Providers who work so hard both to help children thrive and communities to re-establish Indigenous cultures. This is challenging, important and underappreciated work. Communities, families, and children have much to benefit from expanded, integrated, and culturally affirming Indigenous early childhood development programs, based on Indigenous-led, planned, and shared approaches. Find out how you can support the campaign here.

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Child Care A Top Priority

Child Care was the top election platform spending commitment for both the BC NDP and the BC Greens, so it should be a top priority as they implement their Agreement.  

Recognizing the current child care chaos for BC families, the Greens and the NDP made election commitments to invest substantial funds in a universal system of high quality, affordable child care. In stark contrast to the BC Liberals status quo approach, child care was the most significant area of new spending in both the BC Green Party and BC NDP platforms. 

“Given the alignment between the two parties’ platforms, we called on the NDP and Greens to work together to prioritize action on child care” says $10aDay Spokesperson Sharon Gregson. “So we’re pleased to see child care commitments in the joint agreement because families have expectations that their child care chaos will be fixed.”

The BC NDP and BC Green Party platforms were aligned in ways that support prompt, decisive action on child care. Both included substantial new public funding to make quality, affordable child care available across BC by:

  • Integrating child care with education
  • Reducing or eliminating parent fees
  • Developing the child care workforce 
  • Building more spaces, so child care is available for all families who choose it

The $10aDay Child Care Plan delivers on the agreement priorities. The benefits and costs of the $10aDay Plan have been assessed with financing and implementation plans developed. The $10aDay Plan is supported by families, communities, local governments, school districts and business groups across the province, together representing 2 million British Columbians.

Child care should be a top priority for the new NDP/Green alliance.  The $10aDay Plan provides a clear roadmap for action, and we are ready, willing and able to work with both parties to build the quality, affordable child care system that BC’s families so clearly want and need.

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Majority of British Columbians Voted for Child Care

While the final seat count is not yet firm, one thing is clear - the majority of British Columbians voted for substantial new public investments in child care to:

  • Make child care fees affordable
  • Ensure quality child care is widely available

Both the NDP and Greens made significant platform commitments to do just that.

The child care crisis made headlines during the election campaign and most voters rejected the status quo offered by the BC Liberals. They know that the crisis will not go away without immediate, decisive action. 

So, BC families are counting on the NDP and Greens to find common ground and make this one of their top issues for cooperation. And, they are counting on the BC Liberals to support action to solve the current child care chaos.

We are ready, willing and able to share our expertise with all parties in the expectation that they will cooperate to build the quality, affordable child care system that British Columbia’s families so clearly want and need.

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BC Liberals Expect Child Care Providers to Reduce Parent Fees

With no new public funds, BC Liberals Expect Child Care Providers to Reduce Parent Fees - Cut Caregiver Wages

The BC Liberals say they will create 8,700 more child care spaces by 2020. To make child care more affordable for families, they expect providers to lower parent fees - on their own, with no new public funding. This means that the BC Liberals support cuts to caregiver wages, already at poverty levels. Or, it means they have a secret plan to cut child care quality standards. Or both.  

When asked about affordable child care on CBC Radio’s May 4th “On the Coast” program, the BC Liberal candidate repeated her party’s claim that parent fees will go down as more spaces are created. But 4,300 new child care spaces have been added since 2014, and parent fees have increased by 5%!

Like most human services, staffing costs account for the majority of child care program budgets. Without adequate public funding to meet current quality standards, parent fees are high and caregiver wages are low.

The implications of this reality are clear. If we aren’t prepared to sacrifice quality in child care programs, then lower parent fees will only be achieved with higher public funding. Both the BC NDP and the BC Greens have committed new funds in their platforms for the specific purpose of reducing parent fees.  

The BC Liberals have no new funds to address affordability. Therefore, they owe it to BC families – and child care providers and caregivers – to be clear that their expectation of lower parent fees can only be achieved by lowering the quality of child care programming. Given that BC’s quality standards are already below international benchmarks, this means that the BC Liberals are prepared to put the health and safety of our young children at risk.   

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Kristen's Story

When I answered the phone, I thought we’d hit the jackpot. An open daycare space in Vancouver at a reasonable price? Amazing!

Not the best location, but we could make it work. After all, it had been months of researching, making calls and applying for waitlists. And waiting. And waiting. 

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Vancouver Dad's Story

The story of my family feels typically Vancouver. My wife and I are young professionals who, while not originally from this city, are hoping to stay here. But we’re not sure we will.

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It's time for affordable child care in BC. The @10adayplan is the solution to BC’s child care crisis. #bcpoli