With no new public funds, BC Liberals Expect Child Care Providers to Reduce Parent Fees - Cut Caregiver Wages
The BC Liberals say they will create 8,700 more child care spaces by 2020. To make child care more affordable for families, they expect providers to lower parent fees - on their own, with no new public funding. This means that the BC Liberals support cuts to caregiver wages, already at poverty levels. Or, it means they have a secret plan to cut child care quality standards. Or both.
When asked about affordable child care on CBC Radio’s May 4th “On the Coast” program, the BC Liberal candidate repeated her party’s claim that parent fees will go down as more spaces are created. But 4,300 new child care spaces have been added since 2014, and parent fees have increased by 5%!
Like most human services, staffing costs account for the majority of child care program budgets. Without adequate public funding to meet current quality standards, parent fees are high and caregiver wages are low.
The implications of this reality are clear. If we aren’t prepared to sacrifice quality in child care programs, then lower parent fees will only be achieved with higher public funding. Both the BC NDP and the BC Greens have committed new funds in their platforms for the specific purpose of reducing parent fees.
The BC Liberals have no new funds to address affordability. Therefore, they owe it to BC families – and child care providers and caregivers – to be clear that their expectation of lower parent fees can only be achieved by lowering the quality of child care programming. Given that BC’s quality standards are already below international benchmarks, this means that the BC Liberals are prepared to put the health and safety of our young children at risk.