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Krueger disagrees child-care funds cut [CA-BC]

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Fortems, Cam
Publication Date: 
25 May 2006

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Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger agrees with the need for a professional child care system in B.C. but quibbles with claims his government has cut funding.

The Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. and the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union (BCGEU) are holding a forum May 31 in Kamloops on affordable and accessible child care.

Carol Adams, spokeswoman for the BCGEU, said the B.C. Liberal government has cut $40 million in child care funding, resulting in closure of centres and loss of subsidies for some parents.

While the province has passed on $180 million in child care funding from the former Liberal government in Ottawa, Adams said it has reduced its own share.

"The provincial government has cut so much in child care. We've seen child care centres closed, reduced hours and increased fees."

Speakers will argue for a publicly funded system of non-profit child care with standards of care similar to the public school system.

Krueger said Wednesday his government will spend $200 million on child care in this year's budget. He also noted three child care organizations in Kamloops recently received $1.3 million to create new spaces.

"We've got nothing to apologize for. It's ridiculous the way the NDP and the big unions that support them complain now, having brought down the Paul Martin government."

Krueger acknowledged the provincial government will be pressured to step in to replace federal funding. Rates at many family and large day cares are expected to increase with loss of subsidies.

- Reprinted from the Daily.