Our Goal

All BC families have access to high quality, inclusive, flexible child care with fees capped at $10aDay, with professional wages, benefits, and healthy working conditions for educators – all within a system that upholds Indigenous rights and advances reconciliation. 



Progress

In response to the $10aDay campaign and our amazing supporters – and based largely on our $10aDay Plan – the BC Government has started to build a system of quality, affordable, universal child care.

The federal government has followed suit, with historic levels of funding to provinces and Indigenous peoples to achieve $10aDay child care across Canada, and the goals set out in the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework.

The good news is government has achieved some real milestones that are life-changing for families. The worrying news is that big roadblocks remain in the way of further progress, and BC isn't yet acting fast enough to implement solutions. Here's where we're at:

Milestones

What we’ve achieved, together

Governments on board: After 50+ years of advocacy, the BC and federal governments have committed to build a universal $10aDay child care system (including via new federal legislation).

15,000 $10aDay spaces created: And 37,000 additional new licenced spaces funded since 2018 (18,000 operational).

Slashed fees: For families not yet in $10aDay programs, full-day fees reduced by up to $900/month per child. Additional subsidies expanded, and waitlist fees banned.

Higher wages: Most early childhood educators now receive a $6/hour wage top-up. New annual grant for educators working with infants & toddlers and/or children with special needs.

Roadblocks

Some current challenges

Recruitment & retention crisis: Not enough fully certified early childhood educators for existing programs or to meet demand for expansion. Low wages, few benefits, challenging working conditions continue. Barriers to accessing post-secondary remain. 40+% of child care programs are losing more staff than they can hire.

Inconsistent operating funding: BC currently has at least 6 different operating funding programs, resulting in inconsistent fees, wages, and often-inadequate day-to-day funding levels across the system, putting existing child care spaces at risk. 

Haphazard expansion: BC’s current child care expansion model leans on individual local organizations to do all of the work (apply for funding, plan, design, and build new spaces) often within unrealistic budget caps, leading to slower expansion and inconsistent quality.

Solutions

Some priorities for action

Fair wages for early childhood educators: Move from the current top-up to a provincial wage grid that guarantees fair & competitive wages of least $30 to $40/hr, based on qualifications and experience. 

Publicly planned expansion: Just like K-12, plan and coordinate the build-out of universal child care with public, non-profit, and Indigenous partners. Use modular opportunities, too.

More $10aDay: Invite more programs to transition to $10aDay sites (with accountability for how public funds are used) within an operating funding model that supports quality.

 

Over top all this sits government's obligation to uphold Indigenous rights and advance reconciliation, including via the BC Declaration Act Action Plan (e.g. action 4.19) and the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework.



We’re on our way to quality affordable child care, but without bold action BC risks getting stuck.