For Immediate Release…A Busy Week for Child Care!
BC election called and child care the number one issue to be highlighted
It is extremely significant that in the first days of the provincial election Premier John Horgan has recommitted the NDP to the $10aDay Plan. Spokesperson, Sharon Gregson said, “government made significant progress for families and early childhood educators over the past 3 years – more progress in fact than in the 16 years leading up to the 2017 election.” $10aDay child care is life-changing for families and essential to BC’s economic and social recovery.
While John Horgan and the NDP have recommitted to the $10aDay Plan; which includes affordable fees for families, a starting wage of $26/hr for early childhood educators, and new spaces that are public assets, like schools – we have not yet seen a similar commitment from the BC Liberals.
Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson said a Liberal government would introduce an affordable child-care plan with costs that would vary according to family resources. However, Family Policy researcher, Lynell Anderson CPA CGA confirms this income-testing subsidy approach has been part of the failed market-based system for decades. It results in higher parent fees, low ECE wages, and too few quality spaces.
While we were not privy to internal negotiations between the Greens and the NDP in 2017 we know from their platforms there were differences in their visions for child care. Since then, new Green leader Sonia Furstenau has shown she’s an advocate for early childhood education and has committed to child care as a public system but, has not yet committed to the $10aDay Plan.
Over the last 3 years child care fees have been reduced for 60,000 families and of those, 32,700 families are paying $10 a day or less. Early childhood educators have been receiving a wage top-up of $2 per hour, and funding for 20,000 new spaces has been confirmed. “This is a good start for families and the economy” says parent of two young children, Sara Langlois, “we need more progress on $10aDay not moving backwards to old ways of thinking about child care.”
Now, with a new federal commitment to Canada-wide investment in high quality accessible child care, this is the time for BC’s political leaders to commit to immediate and significant $10aDay expansion.
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