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.