The BC government has committed to creating 24,000 licensed child care spaces over the next three years, a target that is consistent with the $10aDay Child Care Plan recommendations.
As government begins to create these new spaces, we call on them to move away from the old, ineffective Major Capital Grant Program. This reactive program relied on individual child care providers to assess local child care needs, write a detailed application, raise their own funding contribution and manage the planning and construction process. And, although taxpayers contributed substantial funds to this Program, too often individuals and corporations (even numbered companies) owned the resulting spaces.
Instead, government needs to move towards an evidence-based approach that ensures publicly-funded spaces are planned in and by communities and are publicly-owned – the same way schools and libraries are planned and funded.
Our recent letter to the BC government highlights this approach, which:
- Puts responsibility for assessing local child care needs where it belongs – in communities.
- Puts responsibility for overall planning and adequate capital funding where it belongs – with the provincial government.
- Puts ownership of publicly-funded assets where it belongs – with the public.
- Puts responsibility for exploring and implementing a range of options for creating more licensed spaces where it belongs – with the provincial government and public partners.
Here's a copy of a recent letter sent to Katrina Chen, the Minister of State for Child Care (click here for a PDF version).Read more
As government takes its first steps to implement a system of universal child care, here's the latest on what you need to know.Read more
On behalf of our two organizations, the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC (CCCABC) and the Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC), we are writing to you at an important time in the evolution of quality, affordable, accessible and inclusive child care in BC.Read more
$10aDAY PLAN SUPPORTERS ARE CELEBRATING the BC government’s commitment to building a quality, universal child care system. Child Care BC acknowledges the importance of a fairly- compensated workforce and a system built on affordability for all families.Read more
IN AN HISTORIC BREAKTHROUGH for BC children and families, Budget 2018 commits over $1 billion in new provincial and federal child care funding. Over three years these funds will be used to begin implementing Child Care BC — government’s path to universal child care. This level of public investment delivers on key recommendations of the community’s $10aDay Plan.Read more
A Joint Statement by the
Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and Early Childhood Educators of BC
The BC government’s Child Care BC strategy provides an opportunity for child care providers to receive more direct operating funding (CCOF), with accountability measures, to begin building a universal child care system. This approach is supported by the research, well underway in many other wealthy countries and Canadian provinces, and consistent with the widely-endorsed $10aDay Child Care Plan. We urge all child care providers to apply to join the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative promptly so that they can receive additional funds to reduce parent fees and participate in building a system of high quality, affordable child care in BC.
Here are some key points to consider:
1. Change can be challenging and will take time but the status quo – with unaffordable parent fees, low ECE wages, and too few licensed spaces - is unacceptable.
2. As proposed in the $10aDay Plan, government’s approach in Child Care BC includes all existing providers – licensed and unlicensed, centre-based, multi-age, and family, not-for-profit and for-profit – and supports them with additional resources to enhance affordability, quality, and access.
3. First steps on affordability, for those who opt-in to new Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative are:
- A long overdue 10% lift in base CCOF funding
- Additional funding to cover 100% of the required parent fee reduction
On the application forms, providers are asked to provide recent data on parent fees as well as planned increases for 2018/19. If approved for the Initiative, providers agree not to increase fees beyond their planned levels without prior approval from the Ministry.
4. In addition to the Fee Reduction Initiative, Child Care BC includes additional resources for a workforce development strategy that includes ECE compensation and, later this year, an Affordable Child Care Benefit that will replace and expand on the current child care subsidy system. We continue to urge government to address ECE compensation promptly, and to ensure that the new affordability measures are effective for both families and providers.Read more
February 20, 2018
BC Budget 2018 – Historic New Child Care Spending Turns the Corner on BC’s Child Care Chaos
Families, Early Childhood Educators, employers and communities across BC - along with our economy – stand poised to gain from the largest child care investment in BC’s history. The 2018 BC Budget commits to over $1 billion in new federal and provincial child care funding over 3 years – enough to make substantial and measurable progress towards the high quality, affordable, accessible system detailed in the popular $10aDay Child Care Plan.
We commend the BC government for prioritizing the fiscal resources required to turn the corner, and begin addressing BC’s longstanding child care chaos.Read more
The $10aDay Plan affirms the evidence highlighting the importance of increasing direct operating funding to licensed child care programs, with accountability for capping and lowering parent fees, raising ECE wages, and meeting other quality and access standards. The $10aDay community recommends that this direct funding approach start immediately in BC, with Budget 2018.
If the BC government adopts this recommendation, they’ll be in good company.
Most provinces in Canada are already providing direct operating funds tied to ECE wages. Operating funds in Quebec, Manitoba and PEI are also tied to maximum parent fees set by the province. Similarly, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have introduced varying approaches to capping and/or regulating parent fees. Ontario has launched an ‘Affordability Strategy’ to develop “a new funding model to bring down costs for families.”.
Like BC, most of these provinces relied primarily on parent fee subsidies to fund child care in the past. That’s why there is still much more work to do – and direct public funding required – to build quality, universal child care in Canada. Yet, the introduction of caps on parent fees is a starting place. It’s an acknowledgement of the failure of parent fee subsidies, on their own, to make child care affordable for all families. As BC launches its First Steps towards universal child care, there are many examples to learn from – both in Canada and in other countries.