$10aDay Child Care: Encouraging News in the B.C. Budget 2018

 Photo Credit: Unsplash User Markus Spiske

Photo Credit: Unsplash User Markus Spiske

$10aDay Child Care posted an enthusiastic response to the BC government’s Budget 2018, which commits over $1 billion in new provincial and federal child care funding to be spent over 3 years to begin implementing Child Care BC — government’s path to universal child care.

The post states:

The new public investments come with a bold strategy to reduce parent fees, work with public and community partners to increase licensed spaces, and support the early childhood educator (ECE) workforce. Clearly, Budget 2018 reflects the shared goals of government’s Child Care BC and the community’s $10aDay Plan.

This public investment is essential to turning the corner on the current child care chaos across BC. Although the previous government acknowledged the need to expand access to quality, affordable child care, over the last three years it did not increase actual spending — rather, it consistently underspent the provincial child care budget, by over $100 million in total.

Key commitments in Budget 2018 include:

Child Care BC commits to create 24,000 new licensed spaces over the next three years. By comparison, over the last three years of the previous government, only 7,400 new spaces were created. Today, less than 20% of BC children have access to a licensed child care space.

Child Care BC commits to reduce parent fees by up to $350/month and provides an additional income-tested affordable child care bene t. Over the last three years, parent fee increases outpaced inflation, with median fees increasing by $60 to $110/month. At the same time, the average number of children in lower- income families receiving fee subsidies dropped by almost 6,000, or 23%.

Child Care BC commits to a workforce development strategy that addresses fair compensation for ECEs. Higher ECE wages are essential for achieving quality child care. Over the last three years, the lack of action on ECE wages has led to a crisis in recruitment and retention of qualified staff across the province.

$10a Day Child Care comment that “the progress achieved in Budget 2018 is the result of decades of research, public education and advocacy by families, individuals, local governments, Indigenous leadership and communities, labour groups, community organizations and businesses across BC. Now, we are ready, willing and able to work with government and stakeholders to ensure that the first steps on Child Care BC build a solid foundation for a fully implemented system of quality, universal child care over the next 10 years. See our current advocacy actions here.”

As well, the post notes $10aDay Child Care’s commitment to Indigenous-led childcare, noting that, “as government begins to expand and update ECE training opportunities, we will work to ensure that all ECEs are educated about the history, cultures, and practices of Indigenous peoples (as appropriate) and about colonialism’s continuing impacts on them, and can follow these learnings in the programs they develop and provide for all children – as proposed in the $10aDay Plan”.

Included is a quote from Mary Teegee, President of the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society, in response to Budget 2018:  "We look forward to working with the provincial government and First Nations leadership to ensure that new funding for Indigenous child care and learning support will be substantial, and supportive of the self-determination of Indigenous authorities, families and organizations who understand how and where the most impact can be made for their communities.”