Today Adrian Dix outlined his party's response to the well documented need for action on early
care and learning.
"The initiatives tabled in the NDP platform are good first steps" said Sharon Gregson, spokesperson for the Coalition of Child Care Advocates (CCCABC). Most importantly they recognize and address the high cost of parent fees for families with very young children and the need for more quality spaces. Dix acknowledges that child care is the 2nd highest expense next to housing for families and lack of child care is a major barrier form women re-entering the workforce.
The CCCABC with the Early Childhood Educators of BC has been calling for a commitment from government to address:high fees which have reached $1900/month per child; too few licensed spaces; and poverty wages for the mostly women working in child care programs.
The $10/day Plan developed by these two organizations has massive support across the province from parents, grandparents, municipalities, school boards, labour unions, business, academics and community groups representing over a million British Columbians. Supporters of the Plan know the importance of quality experiences for children in their early years. They also agree with economists that child care enables parents to participate in the work force, contribute tax revenues and stimulate the BC economy. Key elements of the NDP announcement today align wit
h the goals of the $10/day Plan.
•Fee reduction-the CCCABC callsfor fees reduced to $10/day in all infant toddler licensed spaces so a 20% reduction is a start. We recognize that parents, particularly of very young children, need help now. That said, we will continue to push forward and increase momentum for the $10/day Plan.
• Accessibility-the Plan calls for significant numbers of new spaces. This will need to increase over time.
During the initial planning process identified by the NDP, the CCABC would continue to advocate for the $10/Day Plan. This includes moving child care into the Ministry of Education, low
ering parent fees, creating more quality spaces and providing a living wage for early childhood educators.
While many were hoping for a commitment to the $10/day Plan we acknowledge this is a substantive move in the right direction and will do more for families than unproductive tax credits and registries. We encourage all political parties to commit to solving the child care crisis and we are ready, willing and able to work with a new government to achieve the child care system BC families need.