It just makes sense!
On November 8, 2019, BC’s Minister of Education hosted a very significant Early Learning Summit. The Summit brought together school district leaders, teachers, and representatives from child care organizations from across BC to hear about the current research and evidence on the social and financial benefits of investing in early learning, discuss school-age child care, and listen to school district/community stories.Read more
The BC government is committed to creating 24,000 new licensed child care spaces by 2021. Consistent with $10aDay Plan recommendations, government is encouraging partnerships with public partners (school districts, municipalities) to help achieve this goal. However, government continues to rely on two expensive, risky, and unaccountable policies implemented by the previous government.
First, current capital expansion relies on inviting applications from others (non-profit, for-profit, and public sector organizations) to independently create new spaces. This reactive approach does not allow government to achieve economies of scale or cost effective investments in public infrastructure, nor does it ensure that spaces are created and maintained where the need is greatest. Even more worrisome, BC is the only province in Canada providing significant capital funds to create new child care facilities owned by for-profit businesses. Significant public funds are going into the acquisition of private assets rather than into publicly planned, owned and operated facilities. These approaches undermine government’s commitment to universal child care. The international evidence is clear. In countries with universal access to child care, the majority of services are publicly funded and delivered .Read more
Submission to Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services $10aDay Child Care Recommendations for BC Budget 2020
The BC government has taken bold initial steps towards its commitment to universal child care by reducing parent fees, raising educator wages and education, affirming its support for Indigenous-led child care and introducing $10aDay Prototype Sites across the province. These steps are broadly supported by the 90% of British Columbians – across all ages, regions and political allegiances2 – who believe that public investments in a quality, affordable child care system are important. And, almost two-thirds of parents with child care experience say current government investments are having a positive impact on their child care situation.
British Columbians also know that there is much more to do. Child care still puts a financial strain on 76% of families and 70% say a parent had to remain away from work longer after parental leave because child care was unavailable.Read more
We are so pleased to share with you the UPDATED 2019 edition of the popular $10aDay Child Care Plan. This plan for a public system of integrated early care and learning was first launched in 2011. Developed through wide consultation across BC and based on research and evidence, the Plan is the concrete, do-able solution to BC’s child care chaos.Read more
Popular $10aDay Plan is the template for building quality, universal child care across BC over 10 years.Read more
PART 2 OF 4 POLICY BRIEFING NOTES • FALL 2018
Our submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services
PART 1 OF 4 POLICY BRIEFING NOTES • FALL 2018Read more
September 21, 2018
Honourable Katrina Chen
Minister of State for Child Care
PO Box 9057 STN PROV GOVT
Victoria, BC V8V 9E2
Dear Minister of State Chen:
Recently we have been contacted by parents and child care providers expressing concern about:
- Child care fees that, from their perspective, are increasing substantially – despite their program’s participation in the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (FRI)
- Licensed programs that may be closing, for various publicly-stated reasons.
In the past, we alerted you to individual cases of unusual fee increases in Nanaimo that came to our attention. We are now hearing of large fee increases in other communities, typically in for-profit operations, which have resulted in no, or minimal, fee reductions for families.
Ministry staff have advised they are monitoring the situation closely, and find these are isolated situations. We hope that remains true for both unusual fee increases and program closures.
Certainly, we’ve been hearing lots of concerns about fee increases and program closures for many years. However, unlike the previous government, your government is making significant investments in lowering parent fees and increasing licensed spaces, so it’s essential to ensure that your child care priorities are not undermined. In addition to the policies and accountability mechanisms already in place, we recommend that government take proactive steps to reduce the possibility of these situations arising, follow-up on individual concerns, and take action where appropriate and necessary.Read more
BC Government takes one more step towards affordable child care in BC!
Parent fees eliminated for most families earning less than $45,000 annually with children under age 3 in licensed child care – as recommended in the $10aDay Child Care Plan.
Building on the BC government’s recent Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative - which is saving families of more than 50,000 young children up to $350 monthly for licensed child care - effective September 1, 2018 government’s new Affordable Child Care Benefit provides even more affordability relief for more families. Through a streamlined, on-line application process, families with annual incomes of $45,000 or less will receive the full benefit, up to the cost of care, and those who make up to $111,000 will receive a
portion, scaled according to income.
“Joyful and excited are some of the words I’d use to describe the responses we’ve heard from families already” reports Sharon Gregson, Spokesperson for the $10aDay Plan. “They’ve used government’s online calculator, and are now anticipating more fee relief. So it’s important to ensure that families are aware of this benefit.”
However, while increasing income-tested subsides can provide affordability relief in the short term, it is not the way to build or fund a child care system over time. It’s not the way we fund schools, libraries, hospitals or other BC early learning programs like Strong Start. It isn’t even the way we fund programs at community centres, where user fees are often reduced or waived for people with economic or other barriers while everyone else pays the same. Public funds cover the difference.Read more