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.

Just Posted

Terrace Minor Softball closes season with wins

Teams with be competing in nationals in Saskatoon

Bicyclist crashes into car

Police briefs July 12-14

Malicious Monster Truck Tour returns to Northwest

Crowds gathered at the airport for show

Terrace SAR rescues shopping carts in Skeena River

Many have yet to be retrieved due to high water level

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read