Affordable daycare left out of NDP budget disappoints advocate

B.C. parents left unsure if $10-a-day childcare will be an empty promise

Parents and caregivers who voted for the B.C. NDP because of its $10-a-day childcare promise are disappointed the plan wasn’t part of Monday’s provincial budget update, one advocate says.

The NDP has delivered on major campaign pledges, like nixing bridge tolls and slashing MSP fees, since John Horgan was sworn in as premier in July.

But affordable childcare advocate Sharon Gregson said supporters are shocked the budget failed to address the province’s “childcare chaos,” considering it was one of its biggest platform commitments. Parents would have spent $10 per day for full-time care, $7 for part-time and no fee for families with an annual income under $40,000.

“People are asking me if it’s really going to happen,” Gregson said Tuesday. “People thought they were voting for the $10-a-day plan,”

READ MORE: NDP’s signature child care promise put off

READ MORE: Parents call on province for $10-a-day childcare

ELECTION RECAP: NDP and Green Party look to subsidize daycare costs

The budget instead contained $20 million for 4,100 new childcare spaces, which was actually part of the previous Liberal government’s budget announcement earlier in the summer.

Gregson those new spaces will still be unaffordable and won’t be enough to meet the need.

“It’s not a matter of dollars anymore,” she said. “We have no doubt about the personal commitment of the politicians… They need to take that commitment and turn it into public policy.”

In her presentation on Monday, Finance Minister Carole James said the childcare reform fell through because of a lack of consensus between her party and the Greens. Her government will continue consultations on the issue into February.

Gregson said that isn’t needed when roughly 17,000 people have signed a petition so far supporting the $10-a-day plan.

She added there’s nothing stopping unlicensed daycares from setting up shop in the meantime.

“There are parents right now who are waiting for their parental leave to be over, and madly looking for childcare spaces, on eight waiting lists and know they can’t afford $1,500 a month.”

Under the BC Liberal policy, which is still in effect, the province covers about 15 per cent of licensed daycare operating costs through subsidies, and helps qualified low-income parents with the costs of care.

Katrina Chen, minister of state of child care, has not returned a request for comment.

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

Just Posted

UBC Okanagan to host Festival of Ideas with BC’s lieutenant governor

The inaugural event will feature a panel discussion with Janet Austin, B.C.’s lieutenant governor

AlleyCATS Okanagan: Pet of the week

Meet Softy a five-year-old Himalayan cat available for adoption

Largest aircraft to operate at YLW begins service to Toronto this summer

The Boeing 767-300ER will increase seat availability for flights to Toronto by 40 per cent

B.C. budget fails to ‘excite’ Kelowna business community

Chamber says Budget 2020 lacks a clearly defined competitiveness strategy

Kelowna divers ready to take on 2020 B.C. Winter Games

The athletes have been training four days a week

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

COLUMN: Democracies don’t always have to agree

In no democratic system of governance is there ever 100 per cent agreement on any issue

EDITORIAL: Revisiting cannabis regulations

Recent retail license application has brought up concerns about present policy in Summerland

Guidelines regulate Summerland cannabis stores

The municipality’s policy, 300.6 establishes the 50-metre buffer zone around schools and parks

Penticton MLA urges government to address fatal stretch of Hwy 97

“People are being injured and lives are being lost on this stretch of highway.” - MLA Dan Ashton

Most Read