As government takes its first steps to implement a system of universal child care, here's the latest on what you need to know.
What is Child Care BC, and the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative?
Child Care BC is the government's bold, long-term plan to bring universal child care to British Columbia, starting with an investment of $1 billion over three years to lower parent fees, invest in the workforce and add licensed spaces. The government's Child Care BC plan is largely consistent with the community's widely-endorsed $10aDay Child Care Plan.
The Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative is the government's first step in rolling out Child Care BC, and is in line with the recommendations laid out in the $10aDay Child Care Plan. The new Fee Reduction Initiative offers an opportunity for child care providers to receive additional operating funds from government to reduce parent fees as early as April 1st.
All licensed providers in BC who operate full-time child care programs serving children under age 6 are invited to apply to opt-in to the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
Some child care providers may find it challenging to decide on and complete the opting in process in time for April 1 fee reductions. Child care providers can also opt-in to the Fee Reduction Initiative throughout the year, however we encourage all licensed child care providers to apply as soon as possible to help bring immediate relief to families struggling with unaffordable parent fees today.
Why should child care providers opt in?
Opting-in provides an opportunity to:
- play a key role in building a system of quality, affordable child care in BC and bring immediate relief to families.
- receive additional funding to cover 100% of parent fee reductions.
- receive a 10% lift in base operating funding (CCOF) currently provided by government to spend on other operational priorities, as they choose.
What does this mean for BC families, and how can I help?
"Now we can get a better place"
"Now we can have another child"
"Now we can start to get out of debt"
These are just some of the reactions we're hearing from families as they learn about the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
Join the conversation. Together let’s thank BC's child care providers for working through the Fee Reduction Initiative, and let them know what lower parent fees mean for you and your family:
Where can I get more information?
More information about the BC government’s plans can be found on the BC government's website at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/caring-for-young-children/child-care/child-care-improvements.
You can also check out our open letter, with the Early Childhood Educators of BC, encouraging child care providers to opt in to the new Fee Reduction Initiative here: www.10aday.ca/open_letter_to_providers.
What about wage increases for Early Childhood Educators, and creating more licensed spaces?
Reducing parent fees is only the first step to building a quality, affordable child care system for BC. It is essential that the next steps address workforce issues for educators, including prioritizing the need for increased compensation for Early Childhood Educators, along with creating more licensed spaces.
We'll be following up with more on these other key components to building a quality, affordable child care system for BC, so stay tuned.