B.C. child-care funding benefits centres, not families, in some cities
March 12, 2020 Nick Eagland, The Vancouver Sun
Government programs to make child care more affordable in B.C. are helping families but some for-profit centres may not be passing all of those benefits along, according to a new survey by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
For the left-leaning think tank’s sixth annual report on child-care fees, authors David Macdonald and Martha Friendly gathered data using a phone survey of licensed full-day child care centres and home or family child-care providers in 37 cities across Canada.
In B.C., they found that the median monthly cost for infant and toddler care in 2019 was $825 in Kelowna; $1,000 in Burnaby and Surrey; $1,112 in Vancouver; and $1,200 in Richmond. For preschool-aged children, care cost $810 in Kelowna; $850 in Burnaby and Surrey; $954 in Vancouver; and $955 in Richmond.
Macdonald and Friendly said B.C.’s fee-reduction initiative, launched in 2018 to cut fees at approved licensed facilities by up to $350-a-month per child, appears to have stopped increases between 2017 and 2019 but didn’t substantially reduce fees for children over three years old. Fees declined for children under three in Burnaby and Vancouver, where most centres are not-for-profit.