Excerpts from the press release:
Today the BC Budget Update highlights a phased in approach to full school day Kindergarten for five year olds starting in September 2010, with an expenditure of $44 million. This might have been good news if it were not for the cuts to the existing K-12 education system ($98 million cut from school facilities grants).
The Budget Update today does nothing to alleviate the current child care crisis:
1. There are only enough regulated child care spaces for 14% of children under 12 in BC leaving too many parents unable to work and achieve their career goals, and too many children in situations where the quality of their early care and learning is unknown. Wait times for licensed child care are years long.
2. After housing, child care is the second highest cost facing BC families. In 2008, an average Metro Vancouver family with a 4-year-old in full-time child care and a 7-year-old in after-school care paid 20% of their monthly expenditures, or $12,000, for child care - if they could find it.
3. Staff wages are so low that recruiting and retaining professional early childhood educators is a well-documented concern across the province, undermining child care quality.