NDP mislead public on child care progress: BC Liberals

BC Liberal Critic for Children and Family Development Laurie Throness is calling out John Horgan and the NDP after recently released data from the Ministry of Children and Family Development shows that only 2,055 of the government’s promised 24,000 new child care spaces are operational two years into their three-year plan.

“John Horgan and the NDP have been patting themselves on the back for announcing thousands of new child care spaces, but less than a tenth of the promised 24,000 are actually operational today,” said Throness on Tuesday. “At this rate, the NDP won’t make good on their promise for twenty years and the children needing child care today will have already graduated high school.”

The BC Liberals said that Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen’s office sent out a summary report to a reporter last week detailing the government’s record from three programs announced in the February 2018 budget: The New Spaces Fund, the Startup Fund, and Education Neighbourhood Learning Centers. Of the 5,851 spaces announced in the fiscal year of 2019/20, only 374 spaces, or just six per cent, are operational.

“4,700 of the NDP’s promised spaces were announced as long as a year and a half ago, but only a third are actually operational today,” said Throness. “As a result of the NDP’s empty promises, parents cannot return to the workforce because their kids are still relegated to waitlists for available spaces. Child care is not something young families can wait around for and John Horgan needs to explain himself for failing British Columbian families on such a critical service.”

The government’s own figures demonstrate that BC Liberals created 39,959 funded spaces between 2005 and 2017, or an average of 3,330 net new spaces per year for 12 years, said the BC Liberals.