Generation Squeeze supports the $10aDay child care plan, which has roots in Gen Squeeze research. We're thrilled to cross-post the following briefing, which was written by our friends at the $10aDay campaign.
In B.C.’s 2017 provincial election, a majority voted for action on child care. Both the BC NDP and BC Greens made substantial child care commitments. Both parties made child care the largest area of new spending in their platforms. In its subsequent Speech from the Throne, the BC Liberals also made a commitment to significant new child care investment.
With all three major political parties now publicly committed to new child care funding, British Columbia’s families with young children can finally look forward to meaningful progress on solving the current child care chaos.
The $10aDay Plan is the comprehensive, evidence-based solution to this chaos.
The plan is grounded in public policy and funding proposals that address the affordability issue for all families with (or hoping to have) young children, and is central to an effective poverty reduction plan. British Columbians are calling on government to implement it.
Generation Squeeze supports the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and Early Childhood Educators of BC proposals for concrete, balanced, actions that allow government to begin fulfilling their child care commitment in the 2018 budget.
These actions support existing B.C. child care services to participate in building the effective system that B.C. parents, grandparents, and employers have been waiting for.
Implementing these first steps require the B.C. government to confirm the multi-lateral and bi-lateral child care agreements with the federal government, and to conclude child care discussions with the BC Green Caucus. These first steps to reduce today’s child care chaos in B.C. are consistent with the election platforms of both the BC NDP and BC Greens.
We recommend the following first steps for B.C.’s 2018 budget:
1. Deliver immediate tangible benefits to families
CAP AND REDUCE PARENT FEES in all licensed infant and toddler programs by $500 per month, with funding delivered directly to programs through the Child Care Operating Fund.
ELIMINATE PARENT FEES in licensed programs for families with annual incomes of less than $40,000, with funding delivered through the Child Care Operating Fund.
CREATE 22,500 NEW LICENSED SPACES in three years. Working collaboratively with municipalities, boards of education, early years planning tables, and the child care community, government will carry out an immediate review of all planned and existing public and community spaces across B.C., assessing the potential for, and prioritizing, opportunities to re-purpose, retrofit, or modify existing space and to add child care to proposed building plans.
2. Invest in the workforce
SUPPORT EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS (ECEs) with a certificate-to-practice and working in licensed child care programs, by increasing their wages by $1 per hour.
INVEST IN CAREGIVERS without a certificate-to-practice, including unlicensed providers, through an increase in bursary funds to help them become early childhood educators.
RECRUIT EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS who have left the child care sector, by initiating an intensive recruitment and reentrance strategy.
3. Develop a detailed three-year plan
These short-term actions to reduce fees, raise ECE wages and education levels, and create new spaces all in licensed child care, should start in 2018 and be expanded in years two and three of the 2018 budget.
A three-year detailed plan for achieving measurable progress on child care affordability, quality and access — on the road to achieving a fully universal system of quality, licensed child care — should include:
AN INCREMENTAL INCREASE to funding for licensed child care over the budget planning period (2018/19 to 2020/21), starting with $225 million in year one (which includes approximately $50 million in new annual federal funding), and reaching $450 million in year three.
AN AFFORDABILITY STRATEGY for reducing all parent fees in licensed child care over time, toward achieving the goal of $10aDay for full-time care, $7 per day for part-time care, and no user fee for families with an annual income of less than $40,000.
A WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY that addresses ECE compensation and education to recruit and retain respected, valued, well-educated and appropriately compensated professionals. The strategy will include a plan to educate sufficient ECEs as outlined in the $10aDay Plan, including bursaries and other supports for caregivers committed to transitioning from unlicensed to licensed child care.
- AN INFRASTRUCTURE STRATEGY to ensure that effective supports and oversight functions — including, but not limited to, Child Care Resource & Referral services, Supported Child Development, Community Care Licensing, planning and evaluation, etc. — are appropriately staffed and resourced, and to plan for and implement the transition of child care from the Ministry of Children and Family Development to the Ministry of Education.
These short term actions to reduce fees, raise ECE wages and education levels, and create new spaces, all in licensed child care — should start in 2018, and be expanded in years two and three of the 2018 budget.
B.C. budget issue briefings:
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