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