BC Budget 2022 puts $10aDay Child Care Back on Track!
New Federal Funding cuts parent fees in half and expands $10aDay spaces – but more action needed on educator wages to solve recruitment and retention crisis and ensure growth of high-quality programs.
In a turnaround from last year’s “lacklustre” budget, BC Budget 2022 adds $419 million in new child care funding next year – a 50% increase in BC’s annual base funding of $800 million, mainly thanks to new federal funds. Families across the province will benefit from lower parent fees and more licensed spaces, including an expansion of $10aDay spaces.
Budget 2022 also extends the $4/hour Wage Enhancement to cover more early childhood educators (ECEs), and expands access to ECE post-secondary education. “These funds are welcome” confirms Emily Gawlick, Executive Director of Early Childhood Educators of BC “but to solve the serious recruitment and retention crisis in the sector the province must develop and implement a competitive provincial wage grid for early childhood educators.”
“BC Budget 2022 includes action on affordability and access that families are desperate for” observes Sharon Gregson, Spokesperson for BC’s $10aDay Child Care Campaign. “It’s also good news that child care is moving into the Ministry of Education – but more must be done to fairly compensate educators for their important work”.
With the new federal funding in place, BC Budget 2022 child care highlights include:
- Affordability - 50% reduction in parent fees for children under age six, resulting in average fees of approximately $20 per day by the end of 2022. Fee reductions for preschool and school-age care by the beginning of the 2023/24 school year. Expansion of $10aDay spaces, reaching a total of 12,500 by the end of 2022.
- Access – 30,000 new spaces within 5 years, 40,000 within 7 years, plus more school-age spaces.
- Indigenous-led child care - funding to support Aboriginal Head Start and engagement, community planning, and capacity building with Indigenous stakeholders.