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B.C. to ban waitlist fees for most daycares starting in April

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Little, Simon
Publication Date: 
6 Dec 2023


The B.C. government is moving to ban waitlist fees for the province’s daycares.

Starting in April, the ban will apply to licensed child-care facilities that are a part of the province’s fee-reduction initiative.

Parents looking for daycare spots have reported fees ranging from $25 to more than $500 to secure a spot on a waitlist, amid hot competition for access to child care.


Lore said the change will apply to more than 95 per cent of daycares in the province.

Alisha Neumann who operates Inquiring Little Minds childcare on Vancouver Island said the move will hurt her business’s bottom line.

The company started charging fees due to the cost of managing its waitlist, she said, which includes dealing with between 20 and 30 calls a day from parents looking for child care.

Combined with the province’s excising cap on fees, the move will force operators to look elsewhere to find revenue to cover admin costs.


Sharon Gregson, provincial spokesperson for the $10/Day Child Care Campaign, called the move “long overdue.” She said an estimated three-quarters of kids in in the province aged 12 and under don’t have access to childcare — and a full quarter of those families are on waiting lists. That’s a huge financial burden, she said, that comes with no guarantee of actually getting a daycare space.

“There is some concern that extra fees are being approved for food and field trips and things like that, so we do want to make sure parents aren’t being taken advantage of in other ways, and that the ministry is clear about what are acceptable extra fees,” Gregson said.

She said the move also need to come with more government support to ensure good wages for early childhood educators, and to expand the system itself to cut waitlist backlogs.