Child care fee reductions are coming to BC. Here's what you need to know.

As government takes its first steps to implement a system of universal child care, here's the latest on what you need to know.

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An Open Letter to All Licensed Child Care Providers in BC

Dear Colleagues:

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.

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What’s next: Advocacy Priorities after Budget 2018

$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.

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Comparing government’s Child Care BC commitments with the community’s $10aDay Plan

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.

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Why We Urge Child Care Providers to Opt In to the New Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative:

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.

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BC Budget 2018 Media

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BC Budget 2018 Media Release

Media Release from the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and Early Childhood Educators of BC

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.

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If the BC government adopts the $10aDay Plan, they’ll be in good company

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.

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Policy Briefing Note — Full Implementation of the $10aDay Child Care Plan: Summary

Key requirements:

  1. direct funding of licensed child care programs, with accountability for affordability, quality and inclusion for all who choose them;
  2. implementation of Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework; and
  3. infrastructure strategy.

The summary below incorporates the Plan’s full implementation costing over 8 years for children under age 6. Additional public funding is required to support the Indigenous Framework and to achieve high quality, affordable child care within 10 years for all children under age 12 whose families choose it. Implementation begins with the First Steps for $10aDay Child Care proposed for Budget 2018.

Click here to download this summary as a PDF.

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How the Fight for Child Care Was Won

$10aDay campaign shows a way to bring change — but the battle isn’t over.

By Sharon Gregson 3 Jan 2018 | TheTyee.ca

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‘The $10aDay campaign didn’t rely on massive funding. Success came because the child-care crisis across BC is so bad that people know there had to be a better way.’

As 2018 starts and families with young children scramble in the midst of B.C.’s child-care chaos, we’re waiting with hope that Finance Minister Carole James will announce at least $225 million in new spending to improve child care in her February budget.

Make no mistake. If, as expected, significant progress on child care comes in the budget, it will show the success of the $10aDay campaign for a popular, well-researched, realistic solution to the worsening child-care crisis in our province.

The $10aDay campaign is a classic example of how a small group of women, in this case from the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and the Early Childhood Educators of BC, can come together with an idea based on expertise, evidence, lived experience and commitment and, with many allies, make that idea a viable, concrete solution to a current public policy disaster.

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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