The research is clear. The quality of children’s early experiences MATTER. Good quality helps all children thrive. But, poor quality environments can do harm.
Today, too many young BC children do not have the opportunity to participate in high quality child care. More than 30% enter Kindergarten vulnerable in one or more areas.
The $10aDayPlan offers a quality experience for every child whose family wants or needs it. Children will benefit from early care and learning programs that respect them for who they are today and help prepare them for who they will become tomorrow.
“Affordable child care is an opportunity to enhance middle class security and to generate long term economic growth in B.C." (The Tyee, January 23, 2015)
Even President Obama gets it.
“It’s not a nice-to-have — it’s a must-have. It’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.” (State of the Union, January 20, 2015)
Our Plan for quality, affordable and widely-available child care more than pays for itself
- Quebec’s child care system returns $1.05 to its government for every $1 invested - and Ottawa recovers 44 cents, even with no direct investment. These returns continue to grow.
- More broadly, every public dollar invested in quality child care returns at least $2.54 to our overall economy.
- Investing in child care has a bigger job multiplier effect than any other sector.
With access to affordable, quality child care, up to 17,000 BC mothers will be able to enter or return to BC’s labour force.
They will be able to move from part-time or casual work to full time jobs.
The Plan will also provide new and better jobs for Early Childhood Educators, who are overwhelmingly female.
Women will be better able to support their families, put their skills and talents to work and fully participate in their communities. Their pay cheques will go further and many will move out of poverty.
The Plan will also return more than $500 million annually in additional tax revenue paid by Early Childhood Educators and working mothers.
"For Canadian families, high-quality, affordable child care is more than a convenience—it's a necessity." (Federal Budget 2016)
Today, the cost of regulated child care takes more out of the take home pay of employed parents than taxes. Many have no option but to leave the workforce or use unregulated care. Although women typically sacrifice their careers and financial stability when child care is not available or affordable, this stress takes a toll on the whole family.
British Columbians understand the widespread challenges facing families with young children today. That’s why 66% think that government funding for child care should support most families, not just those who are poor.
And, whether in the paid labour force or not, all parents will have the option of enrolling in a full day or part time program that supports their child’s early care and learning.
Almost 40% of families report that a parent had to remain away from work following the end of parental leave because child care was unavailable. This finding reinforces the concerns raised by BC employers about retaining skilled, experienced mothers in the workforce.
Our Plan addresses this reality, and the related work-life conflict which costs BC employers $600 million each year due to:
- higher absenteeism
- greater turnover
- lower productivity
The Plan will also reduce the pressure on wages alone to cover child care costs. The living wage in Metro Vancouver could drop by over $3 with $10aDay child care.
Business leaders understand that “Given the unquestionable number of benefits that early childhood education can provide, it follows that more focus should be put on investing in and improving the system.” (TD Economics, 2012)
Communities that don’t work for families with young children don’t work for anyone. As Cranbrook’s City Council says “The lack of child care …means that people are turning away local jobs and not moving here, or they are having to leave the area, which is an economic barrier for business and services in our community.”
The Plan will build a neighbourhood network of child care programs that connect families and children to each other and to their neighbourhoods.
This means a stronger, healthier, and safer community for all.