BC Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside and BC Child Care Minister Katrina Chen recently announced that the average cost of early learning and child care will go down to $21 per day. In a media release, BC child care advocates applauded the announcement saying the province is making good progress toward full implementation of the $10aDay child care system BC wants and needs.
B.C. families could see child-care fees reduced up to $550 per child each month by December 1, 2022. Fee Reductions will increase from the current maximum of $350/month per child to up to $900/month per child for families with children in Kindergarten, and younger in full-day licensed child care programs. Here are the details.
Lynell Anderson, of Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC, described the fee reductions as, “a welcome investment in BC families and BC’s economy.”
The new fee reductions are in addition to the expansion of $10aDay spaces to 12,500 across the province.
However, there are still many families across BC without access to affordable, licensed child care. To address this, Sharon Gregson of $10aDay recommends a “planned approach to expansion” and wants child care included in all schools and public buildings.
A major challenge in the way of expansion of quality child care b is the crisis in the recruitment and retention of qualified educators, says Emily Mlieczko of Early Childhood Educators of BC. “The $4/hour publicly funded wage enhancement is certainly helpful but needs to transition to a fair, province-wide wage grid, with benefits, as part of improved compensation for early childhood care and education professionals,” she says.