INVESTMENTS in child care continue to save money for families throughout British Columbia by putting money back into the pockets of parents and making life more affordable as child care fee reductions take effect, the Province said on Friday.
“At a time when global inflation is driving up the cost of so many essentials, child care fees are going down in B.C.,” said Premier David Eby. “That’s because we chose to invest in children and families. Expanding access to high-quality, affordable child care opens up access to opportunity – and is key to making sure we have the skilled workforce we need to keep our communities running.”
The ChildCareBC plan, launched in 2018, began as a vision of uniting a patchwork of programs and services, and addressing skyrocketing fees that were increasingly putting child care out of reach for many families, and to build child care as a core service that families can depend upon. Through historic investments at the provincial level and a partnership with the federal government, child care in B.C. is more affordable, accessible and higher quality.
“As of yesterday, we cut child care fees in half on average across British Columbia – saving families up to an additional $550 a month per child,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Our plan to make life more affordable is delivering concrete results for parents who are struggling with the rising cost of living and ensuring every child can get the best possible start in life. We’re going to continue to be there for people as we work toward delivering $10-a-day child care across the country and build an economy that works for all Canadians.”
Increased reductions in child care fees of up to $550 more per child per month took effect on December 1, 2022, and are helping approximately 69,000 families with the cost of child care. This is in addition to the savings of up to $350 per month per child that were introduced in 2018 and which participating child care providers were already passing on to families.
“As parents of three kids – a toddler, a preschooler and a school-aged child – the reduction in fees is absolutely life changing,” said Reut Dahan, a parent at Richmond Jewish Day School. “Thanks to this amazing program being implemented, our costs are now reduced by over $1,000 a month, allowing both of us to work full time and easing some of our financial stress. We have peace of mind knowing that our children are enjoying the benefits of safe and quality child care.”
Additionally, with the most recent batch of more than 2,450 spaces that have moved into the $10 a Day ChildCareBC program as of Dec. 1, 2022, there are more than 10,500 $10 a Day spaces in B.C. Thousands more spaces are under negotiation and expected to be implemented in the coming weeks.
The expansion of the $10 a Day program and the enhanced savings, which build on investments made as part of the Province’s $2.7-billion investment in ChildCareBC since 2018, are being funded through the 2021-22 to 2025-26 $3.2-billion Canada-British Columbia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
“Richmond Jewish Day School provides families with quality, affordable childcare in an inclusive, licensed facility that honours and promotes Jewish culture and traditions,” said Sabrina Bhojani, principal, Richmond Jewish Day School. “We are extremely grateful that the Government of B.C. has prioritized early learning and child care. In addition to setting up our students for a smooth and seamless transition into kindergarten, these investments in child care will have long-lasting, positive effects on the well-being of children and families in B.C.”
In addition, the Province continues to make investments for all families to access affordable child care through the Affordable Child Care Benefit. Families earning as much as $111,000 per year may be eligible for additional help with the cost of child care.
“We know families in B.C. are struggling with the cost of living, and a lot of parents are worried about making ends meet heading into the holiday season,” said Katrina Chen, B.C.’s Minister of State for Child Care. “With parents in B.C. now saving as much as $900 per month on their child care fees, we know that British Columbians are feeling the benefit of our government’s efforts to make life more affordable. This is bringing us another step closer to $10-a-day child care for all families that need or want it and helping families get ahead.”
Since the launch of ChildCareBC, the provincial government, with support from the federal government, has also funded the creation of more than 30,500 new licensed child care spaces, with 10,500 of spaces open and more than 20,000 more spaces in development or construction.
The Province said it has also improved training and professional development opportunities and wages for the early childhood educators needed to deliver this important service.
For information about ChildCareBC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
Facts about funding for child care
* Providers representing 96% of eligible licensed spaces are participating in the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative program to help families save thousands of dollars per year.
* The Government of Canada made a transformative investment to build a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system in partnership with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners.
* This includes a historic federal investment of $3.2 billion for British Columbia between 2021 and 2026.
* Through the Canada-wide action plan, British Columbia has committed to working with the Government of Canada toward a provincewide average of $10-a-day child care by March 2026 for children as old as five.
* All types of licensed child care providers offering services to children five and younger are eligible to apply for the $10 a Day program, including non-profit, private, home-based, publicly run and Indigenous-led providers.
* The cutoff date for $10 a Day program applications was Aug. 18, 2022, and applications will continue to be reviewed until the target number of spaces is met.
* So far in 2022-23, approximately 28,500 children received support through the Province’s Affordable Child Care Benefit each month.
* Parents making less than $45,000 can receive maximum funding.
* Parents making as much as $111,000 can receive partial funding.