It's been just 6 weeks since the provincial government launched Child Care BC, starting with a Fee Reduction Initiative to lower parent fees in licensed child care programs. Now, for the first time in almost two decades, child care fees for BC families are starting to go down instead of up.
Next, we need government to take action on two critical $10aDay Plan priorities – raising wages for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) and creating more licensed spaces for families.
Today, there are only enough licensed spaces for 18% of young children in BC, so space creation is essential. The BC government can promptly and effectively start to close the space gap by working with public partners, such as school boards and municipalities, to address local child care needs. All communities have schools, for example, which creates opportunities to add child care spaces province-wide.
At the same time, BC has a longstanding problem recruiting and retaining qualified Early Childhood Educators, primarily due to low wages. Clearly, we can’t create more licensed spaces without investing in the educators needed to work in those programs. So, we call for an initial ECE wage lift of at least $1/hour in 2018.
Early Childhood Educators, child care providers and families across BC need your help to ensure that government takes action on these two priorities. Please join us in writing to Premier Horgan and the members of his Cabinet Committees, urging them to act now.