Vancouver Economic Commission

$10aDay: Affordable Childcare is Coming to BC

After decades of advocacy by communities across BC, the Province of BC and Government of Canada have announced an investment of $3.2 billion over five years in quality, affordable and universal childcare.

Motivated by the $10aDay campaign – a community response to BC’s childcare crisis developed by The Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and the Early Childhood Educators of BC – the funding aims to slash average daycare fees by 50 percent and add 12,500 affordable childcare sites across the province, all by December 2022.

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Wait, we have a childcare crisis in Canada?

Canada has one of the best educational systems in the world – for kids over five. For kids under five, we have one of the worst systems in the developed nations in terms of quality and availability.

At the heart of it, childcare is expensive and limited. So much so that it’s common for parents to sign up their children for daycare before they’re born to ensure a spot. Others rely on family members or friends to look after their kids so they can work. Still others have no alternatives, and one of the parents has to quit their job or reduce their hours dramatically to stay home (it’s even harder for single parents, who don’t have this option). And even if parents can secure a spot in a nearby daycare, it’s often so expensive they have to take out loans or lines of credit to pay for it.

“We did a research study on affordable daycare a few years ago, and it was eye-opening. But when my child was born, that data became my reality,” says James Raymond, Vancouver Economic Commission’s Research manager. “I pay $40,000 annually for childcare for two children – that’s more than many tuitions. Discussing unaffordable, inaccessible daycare in a professional context is one thing, but when you live it personally you truly understand that it’s a vital thing that needs to be fixed.”

The childcare crisis isn’t new. Childcare has been unaffordable and inaccessible for decades – but it took a global pandemic to throw the situation in its harshest light, revealing that high-quality, affordable childcare is necessary not only for happy families, but also to keep the economy running.

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Media Release Election 2021

For Immediate release - August 31, 2021

$10aDay or Tax Credit? BC voters have a clear choice on child care in Federal Election 2021

British Columbians Expect Governments to deliver $10aDay Child Care 

BC is so close to seeing $10aDay child care become a life-changing reality for more families. The recently-signed federal child care funding agreement will accelerate BC’s progress by creating thousands of new licensed spaces, increasing wages for educators, supporting Indigenous-led child care and reducing parent fees to a maximum of $10aDay. But the momentum on child care – and on Canada’s pandemic recovery – is at risk in this election. 

The Liberals and the NDP are committed to a $10aDay system, but the Conservatives indicate they will cancel the existing child care funding agreements with 8 provinces and territories. Instead, they offer a tax credit scheme – a partial refund of parent fees paid. A recent study estimates the Conservative’s tax credit will save BC families using full-time licensed child care only about $3,000 annually. The Liberal and NDP commitment is more significant, saving BC families about $6,000 next year and closer to $10,000 annually as fees are reduced to $10aDay.  

Clearly, tax credits are not the solution. They don’t ensure child care is affordable, to support mother’s workforce participation and Canada’s economic recovery. They don’t ensure educators - predominantly women and often racialized - are fairly paid. They don’t support high quality, inclusive programs for children or gender equality. In fact, there are no examples of effective child care systems funded through tax credits. 

Effective systems in other jurisdictions include $10aDay Plan elements – public funding to ensure affordable, inclusive programs for all families who choose child care, staffed with well-compensated, educated professionals. The benefits of BC’s progress to date are already evident - 98% of families in $10aDay programs report reduced financial stress and improved quality of life. BC needs to build on this momentum, and move forward with a $10aDay system, not backward with an ineffective tax credit.

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Developed by the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and ECEBC, the broadly-supported $10aDay Child Care Plan is grounded in research and lived expertise and informed by ongoing consultation province-wide.

Contacts: 

Sharon Gregson $10aDay Child Care Campaign 604-505-5725 [email protected] 

Lynell Anderson CPA CGA 604-313-6904 [email protected]

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Election Reality Check

Are you wondering which will help your family most - $10aDay child care or a tax credit? Download this clear comparison...

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Life Changing Impacts of $10aday

$10aDay Child Care: Life-Changing Impacts for BC Families

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August, 2021

Late in 2018, when families of over 2,000 in BC children learned that their program would become a $10/day prototype site, they described the impact of having their fees reduced to a maximum of $10/day as “life-changing”.

In 2020, an independent evaluation of the $10/day prototype sites confirmed a range of economic and well-being impacts reported by families, including[1]:

Impact:

Proportion of Families:

Reduced financial stress

98%

Improved quality of life

98%

Improved family well-being/reduced family stress

96%

Increased ability to save money & pay off debt

93%

Improved mental health

93%

Improved housing stability

92%

Improved family relationships

88%

Improved work-life balance

85%

Increased family quality time

82%

Improved physical health

82%

Reduced family social isolation

77%

Increased ability to focus on work

57%

Reduced absences from work or school

36%

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Summarized from Family Survey Tables 1.3 and 1.4, p. xi

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Big Win for BC

July 8, 2021 For Immediate release:

Child Care News Delivers Big Win for BC Families and Economy

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Today’s announcement confirms an Agreement between the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada for substantial new federal funding for child care. This $3.2 billion investment over 5 years is a very positive step forward for faster implementation of $10aDay child care. We applaud Premier John Horgan and his government for remaining committed to the core principles of the $10aDay Plan: affordability for BC families, access to high quality care and well supported, equitably compensated early childhood educator (ECE) professionals. 

Highlights

  • By the end of 2022, British Columbians will see a 50 per cent reduction in average parent fees for children under the age of 6 in licensed child care
  • This agreement will lead to the creation of 30,000 new licensed early learning and child care spaces for children under the age of 6 within five years, and 40,000 spaces within seven years
  • All new spaces will be focused on community investments that are long-term and run by public and non-profit providers
  • The compensation and working conditions of those working in child care will be improved and made equitable through a provincial wage grid 

“The advancement of a universal child care system in Canada is a nation building moment for our country. Today we are celebrating a positive Agreement that supports Premier Horgan to deliver on his recent election commitments to bring $10aDay child care to more families”, said Sharon Gregson, spokesperson for the $10aDay Plan. “We are particularly pleased to hear a commitment to create 12,000 more $10aDay child care spaces in the next two years. If government begins to transition existing non-profit and public programs to $10aDay, families will see this benefit immediately.” 

At the heart of universal, $10aDay child care is a focus on equity - for the people delivering child care, for families who are struggling with child care and for women who bear the brunt of these challenges. The $10aDay child care system will remove one of the biggest causes of stress for families with young children and we remain committed to holding governments accountable to make all their child care promises a reality in a timely and effective way. We look forward to ongoing opportunities to share lived expertise and evidence-informed advice as implementation proceeds.  

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The $10aDay Child Care Plan was developed by the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and the Early Childhood Educators of BC. Grounded in research and evidence, the popular and broadly supported $10aDay Plan is informed by policy lessons from other jurisdictions and ongoing consultation province-wide.

Contacts: 

Sharon Gregson $10aDay Child Care Campaign 604-505-5725 [email protected] 

Lynell Anderson CPA CGA 604-313-6904 [email protected]

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Recruitment and Retention Report

Evaluation of Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy

Final Evaluation Report May 2020

British Columbia has made a $136m investment in an Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy (ECL R&R Strategy) for the province’s Early Care and Learning sector. The ECL R&R Strategy is part of a larger ten-year plan (“Childcare BC”) to increase the quality, affordability, and availability of child care spaces in British Columbia. The ECL R&R Strategy proposes to meet the following three overarching long-term goals:

An adequate and stable workforce comprised of qualified and skilled early care and learning professionals

Early care and learning as a viable, sustainable, and valued career

Appropriate compensation plans and human resource strategies.

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Bilateral Negotiations

June 2021

Bilateral Child Care Negotiations

BC is expected to be the first province/territory to reach an Agreement with the Federal government for new child care funds committed in the 2021 Federal Budget.

The Federal Government has adopted the goal of providing $10aDay child care across Canada and has allocated significant, sustained funds – enough to make substantial progress on universal access to $10aDay Child Care a reality in BC.  It is therefore essential that governments use this historic opportunity to move away from fragmented grants and subsidies to system building policies and funding.

We are in full support of the rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples to design, develop, and deliver early care and learning services that meet their needs as established in the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework. We acknowledge that Indigenous communities have and may evolve their services in directions other than those outlined here.

We recommend the following conditions and priorities for government.

Read the full document - conditions and priorities here....

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$10aDay Op-Ed

Sharon Gregson and Lynell Anderson: Here’s the roadmap to $10-a-day child care in B.C.

Opinion: The for-profit business model doesn’t work for child care. It is not the way to grow a system. The way forward is to invest taxpayers’ funds in new public and non-profit facilities that will be long-term community assets.

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We knew child care was important before the pandemic, say Sharon Gregson and Lynell Anderson of the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. Now everyone knows it’s an essential service. PHOTO BY JASON PAYNE /PNG files

It’s been 51 years since the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada recommended a “National Day-Care Act.” Yet, despite decades of research and advocacy it’s taken a global pandemic for everyone to recognize that access to high-quality, affordable child care is essential for families and the economy. Federal Budget 2021 reflects broad support for publicly funded child care and — finally — includes the increased, sustained funding required to make it a reality.

Federal child-care funding is particularly important in B.C. because our own provincial budget fell far short of the B.C. government’s recent election commitments. Families, early childhood educators, communities and employers had every reason to expect rapid progress on child care in B.C. Budget 2021 because, in the October 2020 election, the B.C. NDP promised $1.5 billion in new child-care funding over three years. And they promised to use these funds in ways that advance the popular, evidence-based $10aDay Child Care Plan. It was so disappointing to learn that B.C.’s budget committed only an additional $233 million over the next three years, just 16 per cent of what was promised.

But all is not lost. With $30 billion over five years in federal funds committed by Ottawa, B.C. must immediately get to the negotiating table to access its share and close the gap left by the provincial budget.

B.C. now has the opportunity to build on the measurable progress that was achieved from 2018 to 2020 by focusing on and expanding the biggest success to date — the popular $10aDay Prototype sites that, according to the independent evaluator, “improve families’ quality of life by 98 per cent.” Parents fortunate enough to have children enrolled in one of the current 50 prototype programs in the province report that it is “life-changing.”

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Roadmap Design

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Priorities

Summary of priorities for BC’s negotiations with the federal government regarding significant new child care funding as committed in Federal Budget 2021

May, 2021

The Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and the Early Childhood Educators of BC strongly recommend an evidence-based approach that explicitly rejects fragmented, one-off, market-based initiatives, replacing them with system building strategies that ensure public funds serve the public good and build public assets. This approach is consistent with the accountability requirements incorporated in Federal Budget 2021 and detailed in the RoadMap for $10aDay child care in BC.

BC requires two parallel paths for system-building, both of which will receive equitable funding. The first path welcomes in current providers who want to participate in the new, publicly-managed $10aDay system. They will be funded through Partnership Agreements with built-in accountability requirements for parent fees, ECE compensation and full inclusion of BC’s children and families in all their diversities.  

The second path outlines the process for creating new $10aDay programs that are, as much as possible, publicly delivered. Given that there are currently licensed spaces for only 20 per cent of BC children this ensures that, over time, a significant majority of child care facilities and programs will be publicly owned, managed and/or delivered - all key elements of effective child care systems

To achieve these two parallel paths, the BC government must expedite the transfer of child care to the Ministry of Education, as they have system building experience and the tools required to build a new public system.

We also recommend that the BC government confirm the following priorities in their negotiations with the federal government:

  • All new child care spaces supported with public funds will be in the non-profit or public sectors. An immediate end to the ineffective and reactive New Spaces Fund grant program, replacing it with a capital budget and plan for expansion of licensed child care programs province-wide, including public infrastructure projects and the promised modular program.
  • The expedited licensing of classrooms, through a specific protocol, without undermining quality, to support the rapid expansion of school-age child care programs in schools - spaces already designed for young learners.
  • For current programs, a planned transition to $10aDay child care in every BC community with operating funds (using an equitable, transparent funding formula) and quarterly, prioritized expansion targets. The transition starts with programs located in publicly and non-profit owned facilities, where taxpayers will not assume the mortgage costs of privately-owned assets.
  • A competitive provincial ECE wage grid and recruitment program where qualified ECEs earn a minimum of $26/hour (one-year college certificate) and $29/hour (two-year college diploma).
  • Significantly increased access to public post-secondary ECE programs across BC:

- Rapid approval of and funding support for new early childhood education programs in public post-secondary institutions

- Rapid expansion of and funding support for on-line, part time, distance education and work/study offerings.

- Free tuition and/or student-debt relief for students completing ECE programs.

We put these recommendations forward in full support of the rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples to design, develop, and deliver early care and learning services that meet their needs. We support the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework and acknowledge that Indigenous communities have and may evolve their services in directions other than those outlined in the Roadmap, creating models to learn from and strive for.

We continue to call on Canada and BC to honour their obligations to consult with Indigenous Peoples as articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework. Any changes to the delivery of Indigenous early childhood education must respect the obligations stated in Bill 41– 2019: Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act — and be undertaken with Indigenous leadership and governing bodies. And, governments must ensure that Indigenous Peoples have the resources required to develop and deliver early care and learning services.

For more details on CCCABC recommendations, please see the Roadmap for Child Care in BC

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