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.
- direct funding of licensed child care programs, with accountability for affordability, quality and inclusion for all who choose them;
- implementation of Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework; and
- 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.Read more
$10aDay campaign shows a way to bring change — but the battle isn’t over.
‘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.Read more
$10aDay Supporter Kelly Sidhu interviewed women in her local neighbourhood about their child care situation. Check it out:
If you haven't already, please take 2 minutes to take action and help make sure Child Care is a top priority in the BC 2018 Budget: www.10aday.ca/budget2018
Click here to send a letter to your local MLA and other key players in government, and let them know you expect action on child care to be a major part of BC's 2018 Budget.
In BC’s 2017 provincial election, a majority voted for action on child care. Both the BC NDP and BC Greens made substantial child care commitments. Both parties made child care the largest area of new spending in their platforms. In its subsequent Throne Speech, the BC Liberals also made a commitment to significant new child care investment.
With all three major political parties now publicly committed to new child care funding, British Columbia’s families with young children can finally look forward to meaningful progress on solving the current child care chaos.
The $10aDay Plan is the comprehensive, evidence-based solution to this chaos.
The Plan is grounded in public policy and funding proposals that address the affordability issue for all families with (or hoping to have) young children, and is central to an effective poverty reduction plan. British Columbians are calling on government to implement it.
The Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and Early Childhood Educators of BC propose concrete, balanced actions that allow government to begin fulfilling their child care commitment in Budget 2018.
These actions support existing BC child care services to participate in building the effective system that BC parents, grandparents, and employers have been waiting for.
Implementing these first steps require the BC government to confirm the multi-lateral and bi-lateral child care agreements with the federal government, and to conclude child care discussions with the BC Green Caucus. These first steps to reduce today’s child care chaos in BC are consistent with the election platforms of both the BC NDP and BC Greens.
That is why the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and the Early Childhood Educators of BC recommend the following ‘first steps’ for BC’s Budget 2018.Read more
Criteria for Assessing Government’s Progress
On the Implementation of the $10aDay Child Care Plan
Effective implementation actions and ongoing assessments of government’s progress should be consistent with key elements of the Community Plan for a Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning – commonly known as the $10aDay Plan. Three key elements are particularly important in the early stages of system-building:
- Evidence based policy and funding decisions
- Integrated approaches
- Balanced roll–out