The early days of a new government are always tough. There are many choices at hand, decisions to be made and voters to please. In the case of B.C., the agreement between the province’s NDP and the Green party adds a layer of intricacy that has not been present in decades.
Still, there is an issue that should not be allowed to fall through the cracks as a new premier and his government figure out the path of our province for the next four years: childcare.
During the provincial campaign, the NDP embraced the concept of $10-a-day — a comprehensive plan to provide a regulated childcare space to every British Columbian parent or family who requires it. This is a plan that was years in the making, and carefully studied the experience of other jurisdictions.
This approach is already working in other parts of the country on several levels. Quebec currently boasts the second-lowest child poverty rate in Canada, and the highest rate of employment among women over the age of 20 in the entire country. In Quebec, having the ability to access childcare at a reasonable cost — originally $7 a day, but since increased to up to $21.20 a day, depending on household income — has allowed women to either return to the workforce at a faster pace after maternity leave ends, or to seek job opportunities that would otherwise have been unavailable.Read more
BC finally has a government that’s serious about solving the child care chaos. Here's Sheila's take on why it’s important that we continue to add our voices to the millions of other Canadians who know what needs to be done and how it can be accomplished.
We in BC continually hear that our economy is doing great. According to our [former] Premier, of all the provinces BC leads in employment, jobs and economic well-being.
If this is the case, why then have we not invested in the $10 a Day Child Care Plan?Read more
With kids aged 11 & 13, Lori is almost out of the horror of dealing with child care. With implementation of the $10aDay Plan, new parents in BC today will face fewer challenges down the road. Here's Lori's story about coping with BC's child care chaos.
My children are now 11 and 13. I am 'almost' out of the horror of dealing with childcare.Read more
While BC takes the first steps towards implementing the $10aDay Plan, BC families still face the child care crisis. Here's Kasari's story about dealing with BC's child care chaos.
Kasari and her partner found out their son existed in the world when he was four days old. They adopted him when he was six days old. Unlike birth parents, they didn’t have time to get him on childcare waitlists the minute his due date was confirmed because they didn’t know then that he would be in their lives.Read more
Implementation of the $10aDay Plan will result in more women in the workforce. Here’s Susan’s take on why it matters.
What if we talked about women choosing to do paid work – and that was ok? A lot of us talk about the economic argument that we need child care because families need a two-parent income now so women are working outside the home.
And this is true. There’s an obvious and strong economic argument.
But I am afraid that what might get lost in this language is that women are making important contributions to their communities and that we want women in the workforce.Read more
It’s still early days of the new provincial government, yet already we’re seeing the first signs of a new approach to child care.Read more
A Mandate Letter from Premier John Horgan to the new Minister of State for Child Care, Katrina Chen.
Noteworthy and very important that the three main elements of the $10aDay Plan are provided as direction for the new Minister:
- Work with all levels of government, child-care providers, the private and not-for-profit sectors to implement a universal child-care plan that provides affordable, accessible and high-quality care and early learning to every child whose family wants or needs it, starting with infant/toddler programs before gradually expanding.
- Provide additional investments in the Early Childhood Educator workforce through training, education and fair wages to enhance and ensure quality.
- Accelerate the creation of new child-care spaces in communities across the province as part of building a Better BC.
After almost two months of uncertainty about BC’s political future, the Lieutenant Governor asked BC NDP leader John Horgan to form government. With the BC NDP’s commitment to implement the $10aDay Child Care Plan, the BC Green Party’s alignment on key aspects of the Plan, and the BC Liberals support for substantial investment in child care, the upcoming change in government marks a huge win for child care in BC. And, the historic Agreement between the BC New Democratic Party and the BC Green Party signals that we can expect to see immediate positive changes for child care in our province.Read more
Families have been Waiting for 16 Years
Throughout 16 years in government, the BC Liberals could have chosen to make quality child care available and affordable across the province. Instead, they allowed the crisis to grow, particularly over the last four years. While parent fees skyrocketed, the BC Liberal Government consistently underspent their child care budget.
Christy Clark and the BC Liberals now say they will commit $1 billion towards child care in their Throne Speech, creating 60,000 new spaces over four years.
This would have been wonderful news at any time over the last 16 years. Families with young children have struggled through a crippling shortage of licensed child care spaces and sky high parent fees, too often resorting to unregulated care with no monitoring or safety standards. And BC’s Early Childhood Educators have been undervalued, earning poverty-level wages.Read more
Many years ago I worked for a child care society that ran multiple child care programs in Northern BC and learned firsthand about the struggles small communities face in developing and maintaining trained Early Childhood Educators.Read more