Marg McLellan of Grandma Marg’s Clubhouse in Tofino was delighted to be announced as one of 53 child care facilities throughout B.C. that will participate in the provincial government’s $200 a month child care pilot project. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

The NDP’s $10-a-day child care may not have been directly mentioned in the government’s provincial budget, despite it being one of the party’s key election promises, but one advocate says the government is still on the right track with what was announced this week.

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. called Tuesday’s budget “a funding envelope” that supports a move to $10-a-day care.

Finance Minister Carol James announced an additional $9 million for child care during the budget unveiling in Victoria, on top of $1 billion over three years announced in last year’s budget, to increase wages for early childhood educators and provide bursaries and programs in colleges and universities.

James said next fiscal year, the government will look at the impacts of their pilot project, announced late last year, that converted 50 facilities across B.C. into $200-a-month child care spaces. That project, which costs about $60 million, will continue until 2020.

“Let’s remember the child care program is phased in over time,” James said. “So over the next year, you’ll see the minister and the ministry doing the evaluation of the prototypes on $10 a day, looking at how we expand those, looking at how we provide further support for families, and that’s why the money is already allocated in the budget for 2018.”

Since taking office, the NDP has spearheaded the child care fee-reduction initiative, which offers up to $4,200 a year in reductions to eligible parents, and the affordable child care benefit, a grant program for families with annual household earnings under $111,000.

The 2019 budget also included a new Child Opportunity Benefit, which is not tied to daycare and doesn’t kick in until 2020, but supplies monthly rebates to parents based on income until a child is 18 years old.

Gregson said oversight is key as the province continues to develop a new system.

“We need to make sure that as child care operators get money to lower parent fees, they actually use it to lower fees,” she said. “When we start growing a child care system, we need to make sure that we are using it to grow the public system and the not-for-profit system. Because that’s where there is greater accountability and quality.”

James hinted at further announcements in the spring.

Gregson said the coalition will look for plans to follow Ontario and Saskatchewan and move child care and early learning under the ministry of education. This way, new facilities and buildings will be approved through the same process as schools and some community buildings.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trail Shoppers Drug Mart offers virtual doctor appointments

Most Shoppers locations in B.C. will offer online appts by Aug. 4

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Two search and rescue calls involving children end with happy outcomes

The incidents took place in Trail and Salmo area on July 5 and 6

Province releases Columbia River Treaty public feedback report

Reservoir levels, fair compensation for impacted communities, among many issues raised

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

Woman who talked to unconscious husband for 30 years gets solace from B.C. study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

RCMP investigate threat against Indigenous totem poles on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast

Police describe the nature of the threat as ‘sensitive’

Most Read