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B.C. adds 717 more $10-a-day child care spots across province

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McSheffrey, Elizabeth
Publication Date: 
9 Feb 2024


The B.C. and federal governments have added another 717 child care spaces to the $10-a-day program, each expected to save parents up to $10,000 per year.


In April, the province’s ban on controversial waitlist fees for licensed child care facilities that are part of its fee-reduction initiative will also take effect.


In December, the Centre for Family Equity and University of British Columbia’s School of Social Work released a report analyzing B.C.’s $10-a-day program. Authors said the initiative is linked to improve health and economic outcomes for low-income single others, but they had concerns about inequitable access to the limited spaces.

The organizations interviewed 30 lone mothers, 17 of whom had $10-a-day spaces and 13 of whom did not, but in most cases, accessed other fee-reduction affordability measures. Their report found there aren’t enough spaces to meet demand, and there is no “transparent process for space allocation” as well as a “failure to prioritize allocation to those most marginalized.”

Yet it also uncovered “profound” impacts on the lives of lone mothers living below the poverty line who had access, according to co-author Vivica Ellis, executive director of the Centre for Family Equity.

Interviewed mothers who had their children enrolled were able to reduce their reliance on precarious work, sustain their lower-wage jobs, and in some cases, leave income assistance for work. They described greater access to self-care and socialization opportunities, as well as reduced fear of becoming ill or injured, the report added.


Other recommendations include the creation of up to 50,000 new publicly-funded child care spaces, the inclusion of all interested daycares in the $10-a-day initiative, and the prioritization of new $10-a-day spaces in child care “deserts.”

The report also recommends an equity-based approach to ensure the spaces are accessible to those who need them most, that they can accommodate the diverse needs of parents and children, and that a parent advisory council is established to help guide future reforms.