Clues for fixing King County’s child care woes may be found in British Columbia
Ashley Hiruko and Aaron Kunkler / March 30, 2019
Vancouver, British Columbia’s child care issues look painfully similar to those experienced by parents in King County and across Washington state. British Columbia, Canada saw 16 years of worsening child care payoff fees, leaving child care unaffordable for the majority of people except the province’s wealthiest of families. A recent report from King County found that the median monthly cost for full-time infant care is more than $1,500, and many families pay more.
Even for those who could afford it, a long waitlist meant parents would spend months, and sometimes years, stuck in limbo before a spot would open up.
British Columbia was in the same situation as King County and Washington state until its last provincial election. And then something changed.Read more
COLUMN: Millennials need more government support
Wayne Stetski / Apr. 3, 2019
As a Member of Parliament, I represent people in all stages of life and think it’s important to consider the impact of government policies and investments across age brackets. As a parent and grandparent, I hope my children and granddaughter will have the same opportunities and quality of life I have been fortunate to have.
Unfortunately, young Canadians are graduating school with record amounts of student debt only to be faced with precarious work, stagnant wages, and rising housing costs. Many are worried about how they will reach milestones like buying a home, starting a family, or retiring. Those who do have children encounter the added burden of astronomical childcare costs. One of my millennial staff members explains the situation facing her generation saying, “Canada is eating its young.”Read more
Early child care educators celebrate 50-year anniversary
BRITTANY GERVAIS / Apr. 9, 2019
Approximately 250 people, including early childhood educators in Terrace and across the province, gathered at the Sportsplex April 6 to mark the 50-year anniversary of the Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC) organization.
There were many activities for families and educators to take part in, including a nature sensory trail with sand, hay and moss for children to step on, a performance from local music school Tiny Tones, and fun fitness activities from pound Fit. The event was organized by members of the Terrace ECE branch with support from Terrace Early Years Partnership Network.Read more
EDITORIAL: Light at the end of the Squamish child care tunnel
The Chief staff / Squamish Chief
APRIL 10, 2019
A Squamish new dad says the final straw forcing his family to sell their home and move from Squamish is the lack of accessible and affordable childcare.
This is an extreme real-life example of what many parents experience in town — the struggle to find childcare that allows both parents to work without adding to the overwhelming chaos and guilt that, along with joy, parenting involves.
We are so pleased to share with you the UPDATED 2019 edition of the popular $10aDay Child Care Plan. This plan for a public system of integrated early care and learning was first launched in 2011. Developed through wide consultation across BC and based on research and evidence, the Plan is the concrete, do-able solution to BC’s child care chaos.Read more
Popular $10aDay Plan is the template for building quality, universal child care across BC over 10 years.Read more
Meet daycare ‘lottery’ winners — will there be more in budget?
Katie DeRosa / Times Colonist
Photograph By DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST
Tackling poverty in B.C.—celebrating how far we’ve come and looking ahead
Now parents of 2,000 children throughout B.C. are experiencing the joy of $10-a-day childcare through the recently launched prototype program - from the Georgia Straight read more here
Interior cities wading carefully into child care studies
With wait lists for daycare spaces stretching to a year or more, some parents are starting their search even before their child is born - from InfoNews.ca in Kelowna read more here
West Shore childcare centres struggling to find educators
Provincial benefits increasing childcare demand that can’t be met, local centres say in the Sooke News Mirror - read more here
Report: Vancouver still among most expensive cities for child care but new policies offer hope
Vancouver remains among the most expensive cities for child care, but a newly released report suggests B.C.’s recent set-fee policies are a step in the right direction. In the Vancouver Sun - read more here
Child care costs just $10 a day for these B.C. families — and it’s changed their lives
Parents getting the reduced rate as part of the province’s pilot project say they’re less stressed, eating healthier and climbing out of debt. In the Star Vancouver - read more here
Child-care costs 'astronomical' in most of Canada, despite progress in some provinces
In Squamish, B.C., mom of two Laura Merriam says her four-year-old daughter's daycare was selected as one of the prototype sites for that $10 per day program. From CBC.ca - read more here
'Heading in the right direction': Advocates optimistic B.C.'s high childcare costs will decline
Report finds Vancouver has second most expensive childcare in Canada — but doesn't include new initiatives. From CBC.ca - read more here
Early childhood care act could bring B.C. in line with UN, advocate says
Affordable child-care advocate Sharon Gregson said B.C. could soon fall in line with the United Nations’ convention on the rights of children by creating an early care and learning act. From the Star Vancouver - read more here
B.C. Budget 2019: What we got last year, and what we want this year
“There has been more positive action on child care in the last 10 months than in the preceding 16 years,” in the Vancouver Sun - read more here
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...