2019 is an exciting and historic time for child care in BC. For the first time in a generation, we are on the road to a quality, affordable, public child care system.
Key elements of the $10aDay Plan are leading the way. One year into a three year budget of over $1 billion in new federal and provincial child care funding, parent fees are lower, educators’ wages are going up and new licensed spaces are underway. Here’s just some of what is already working.
Lower Parent Fees
Families of more than 50,000 children in licensed child care across BC are saving up to $350 per month under the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative and an exciting 18 month initiative is funding 53 diverse licensed child care sites across BC caring for more than 2000 children to become Universal Child Care Prototypes. The prototypes receive public funds to bring fees down to a maximum $10/day ($200/month) for all families – as recommended in the $10aDay Plan. They will inform the future implementation of universal child care.
In addition, the new Affordable Child Care Benefit is providing further affordability relief for low and middle income families throughout BC.
Higher Educator Wages & Education
Under the new Recruitment and Retention Strategy, BC’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) professionals will receive 2 wage lifts over the next 2 years (each $1 per hour, or approximately $2,000 annually) plus a range of enhanced education supports.
More Licensed Spaces that Meet Diverse Family Needs
Capital funds will create 24,000 new licensed spaces over the next 3 years – with a priority on spaces created with public partners like school boards and local governments. Funds are also going to local planning, maintaining existing facilities, moving unlicensed spaces into the licensed sector, expanding options for families who work non-standard hours, young parent programs, and services for children with additional support needs.
BC’s government has also confirmed its commitment to Indigenous-led child care through support for the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework.
With these first steps from $10aDay in place, we are on the way to quality affordable child care in BC!
The $10aDay Plan Charts the Course Ahead
But, BC’s child care chaos can’t be solved overnight. It will take 10 years of sustained system building and increased funding to achieve high quality, affordable child care for all families who choose it.
We are recommending to government that they:
• expand the $10 a day prototype sites so that more families have access to the life-changing benefits of affordable child care,
• continue to enhance the wages of early childhood educators, and
• initiate a quality child care modular prototype to speed up the creation of new licensed spaces with public partners.
BC needs continued momentum of the $10aDay campaign. This will ensure government continues to prioritize child care so that all families with young children and all early childhood educators in BC see the benefits of a quality universal child care system.
Make sure you’ve signed the $10aCay petition by clicking www.10aday.ca – and share with your friends, family and co-workers.
Together let’s keep the momentum going!
Sharon Gregson and the $10aDay team
Duncan’s Parkside Academy chosen for universal day-care pilot project
Kelly Hall and Xituluq Hwitsum are delighted that Parkside Academy’s Somenos School site, a not-for-profit child-care centre in Duncan, has been chosen as a Universal Child Care Prototype Site. Read more here...
Letter: Time for City of Richmond to hike child care spaces
Earlier this month I was happy to hear the $10-a-Day prototype sites were launched. Read more here...
Victoria mayor, councillor call for city-wide daycare action plan
Victoria should create and implement a city-wide child-care action plan to increase access to child care in neighbourhoods across the city, say Coun. Jeremy Loveday and Mayor Lisa Helps. Read more here...
LETTERS Peace Arch News: Proper child care awaits
Editor: Access to quality child care is still an issue due to lack of licensed spaces. Read more here...
Daycare plan allows more women to work
Re: “Do homework on all the costs of daycare plan,” editorial, Nov. 25.
I was disappointed to read Sunday’s poorly reasoned editorial chastising the government for “raising hopes” with its “reckless” $10-a-day daycare pilot project. The editorial claims that program’s cost will “force taxpayers and companies to tighten their belts.” Did the editor forget that parents are taxpayers, too?
I’m a new mother who has decided not to return to work full-time. For my family, it’s an economic sacrifice, but a choice we’re privileged enough to make. Daycare would consume 40 per cent of my net pay, so it didn’t seem worth it. But if we had $10-a-day daycare, I’d be incentivized to return.
With my full salary, we could save more, spend more, donate more and buy a house sooner. My household would contribute almost $12,000 more a year in provincial income tax, not to mention our increased spending power and the value I would generate for my employer. My lifelong earning potential would also be higher, as I wouldn’t be taking time away to raise my children.
Ten-dollar-a-day daycare would put thousands of women like me back in the workforce, generate economic growth and create financial stability for families. In this way, the costs of the program would balance out over time.
Even if $10-a-day doesn’t end up being feasible, this pilot project wouldn’t be “an embarrassment.” It would have given the participating families a two-year reprieve, a winning lottery ticket. Let’s hope the rest of B.C.’s families will be so lucky.
Danielle Leduc McQueen
Read the Times Colonist Letters to the Editor here...
Evidence supports daycare plan
Re: “Do homework on all the costs of daycare plan,” editorial, Nov. 25.
Years of “homework,” including a large and growing number of research studies, consistently find that public investment in high-quality, affordable child care results in large social and economic benefits. These benefits include increased female labour-force participation and economic growth (i.e. more jobs) and lower child and family poverty.
Years of “homework” also show that, among wealthy countries, Canada invests the least in child care, with provinces such as B.C. historically spending less than one-third of the international benchmark of one per cent of GDP. That’s why there are only enough licensed spaces for 18 per cent of young children in B.C. and, before B.C. Budget 2018, parent fees were too high and early childhood educator wages too low.
The cost and benefit analyses developed for the $10-a-day child-care plan are grounded in solid research. The child-care prototype sites across B.C. provide an excellent opportunity to learn even more about the actual costs of quality, affordable child care as the new system unfolds — a true example of evidence-based public policy that merits support, not unsubstantiated criticism.
Family policy/$10-a-day researcher
Read the Letters to the Editor in the Times Colonist newspaper here...
BC’s new provincial government has taken first steps to begin implementing universal child care. BC Budget 2018 committed $1 billion over three years to improve access to quality, affordable child care, complemented by additional federal funding of $153 million. Building on its election commitment to the $10aDay Child Care Plan, government’s significant actions to date are in three key areas — lower parent fees, more licensed spaces, and higher ECE wages.
See the financial commitments here...
1. Bowen's Kinderhaus selected for $10 a day daycare
Parents said it was like winning the lottery on Bowen. Click here for article...
2. Houston parents to pay $10 a day for daycare
Beanstalk coordinator says this will make a "huge difference" to local families. Click here for article...
3. Penticton childcare facility lands provincial funding; $10-a-day costs for parents
Parents of more than 100 children in Penticton will have their childcare costs drastically reduced. Click here for story...
4. FOULDS: Spend lots now, save much more later.
The announcement last week was life-changing for families of 117 kids in Kamloops... Click here for article...
5. Universal childcare in Kelowna off to a good start
Kelowna’s Little Scholars seeing positive results from B.C government’s $10-a-day project. Click here for article...
6. 'Like winning the lottery': $10-a-day child care to be tested at 8 Vancouver Island locations
Parents on Vancouver Island are ecstatic after the B.C. government announced it will begin testing out $10-a-day child care at more than 50 facilities around the province. Click here for the article...
7. West Shore parents relieved as Highlands daycare joins $10-a-day pilot
Lexie’s Little Bears’ Child Care Inc. is one of two Victoria daycares selected for this provincial pilot. Read more here...
8. B.C. announces new $10/day child care at 53 daycare facilities
The B.C. NDP government is taking steps to make good on its election promise of affordable, universal child care. Read more here...
9. Two North Okanagan daycares move to $10-a-day pilot
Roughly 2,500 parents who are existing clients will now pay a maximum of $200 per month. Read more here...
10. Revelstoke’s Stepping Stones child care selected to deliver universal, low-cost child care
Caregivers will pay no more than $200 a month per child. Read more here...
11. B.C. starts testing $10-a-day child-care program for 1,800 children across the province
The B.C. government is testing a program that will provide families across the province with $10 per day child care. Read more...
12. Families welcome $200 monthly child care fees in ‘life-changing’ pilot project
“I’ve had families, parents contact me who are in tears. They are so happy about the difference it’s going to make for their families,” Read more...
13. Updated: $10 a day for three Coquitlam child care centres
Parents to get subsidies to reduce the cost of care in provincial pilot. Read more here...
14. Low-cost child care pilot expanded in North Vancouver
Families of all 37 kids at Novaco daycare in Norgate will pay a maximum of $200 per month. Read more...
15. Comox child care centre among $10 a day prototypes
Government rolls out universal child care project, using 53 centres in pilot project. Read more...
16. Squamish's Discovery Kids Childcare selected for $10-a-day pilot project
B.C. launches $10-a-day daycare project at 53 sites across the province. Read more...
The lengths some Kamloops parents must go just to secure daycare
KAMLOOPS - Emily Anderson didn’t need day care for her son until he was a year old, but she knew she had to start early. She started looking when he was two months old and got on a waitlist.
When she first started calling daycares around Kamloops, some wouldn’t even call her back. Across the province, some wait lists are as long as two years for licensed facilities and Anderson saw it firsthand.
“We were able to secure a spot with nine months lead time,” Anderson says. “At three months old we had him signed up.”
There are only enough licensed child care facilities in British Columbia for about 20 per cent of children according to the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C.
Read the full article from Kamloops InfoNews.ca here