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

Kelowna’s McCurdy house gets operation model redesign

No illegal drug use in supportive housing in Rutland community, B.C. Housing Minister says

UPDATE: Charges laid in West Kelowna assault

An arrest was made after RCMP plea for witnesses

West Kelowna man charged in gas station robbery

The 18-year-old was arrested after allegedly robbing a Huskey gas station on July 15

Kelowna RCMP seek info on hit and run

Red mustang strikes cyclist while taking U-turn near Bernard Avenue

Kelowna’s Okanagan Regional Library may not look like the one you grew up with!

New technology and arts programming transforms library operations

Canada Forces Snowbirds making quick trip to South Okanagan

Planes will be touching down at the Penticton airport to refuel

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Okanagan woman heads up college foundation board

Gladys Fraser of Vernon brings experience to role as chair of Okanagan College Foundation board

Stolen car now returned to Summerland dealership

Vehicle was stolen on same day as attempted carjacking incident

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Police recover $12,700 in stolen pet food from North Shuswap property

Chase RCMP execute third search of property where stolen vehicles, illegal firearms seized

Straight from DeHart

Partners come together to open new pub in Kelowna

Most Read