Affordable daycare left out of NDP budget disappoints advocate

B.C. parents left unsure if $10-a-day childcare will be an empty promise

Parents and caregivers who voted for the B.C. NDP because of its $10-a-day childcare promise are disappointed the plan wasn’t part of Monday’s provincial budget update, one advocate says.

The NDP has delivered on major campaign pledges, like nixing bridge tolls and slashing MSP fees, since John Horgan was sworn in as premier in July.

But affordable childcare advocate Sharon Gregson said supporters are shocked the budget failed to address the province’s “childcare chaos,” considering it was one of its biggest platform commitments. Parents would have spent $10 per day for full-time care, $7 for part-time and no fee for families with an annual income under $40,000.

“People are asking me if it’s really going to happen,” Gregson said Tuesday. “People thought they were voting for the $10-a-day plan,”

READ MORE: NDP’s signature child care promise put off

READ MORE: Parents call on province for $10-a-day childcare

ELECTION RECAP: NDP and Green Party look to subsidize daycare costs

The budget instead contained $20 million for 4,100 new childcare spaces, which was actually part of the previous Liberal government’s budget announcement earlier in the summer.

Gregson those new spaces will still be unaffordable and won’t be enough to meet the need.

“It’s not a matter of dollars anymore,” she said. “We have no doubt about the personal commitment of the politicians… They need to take that commitment and turn it into public policy.”

In her presentation on Monday, Finance Minister Carole James said the childcare reform fell through because of a lack of consensus between her party and the Greens. Her government will continue consultations on the issue into February.

Gregson said that isn’t needed when roughly 17,000 people have signed a petition so far supporting the $10-a-day plan.

She added there’s nothing stopping unlicensed daycares from setting up shop in the meantime.

“There are parents right now who are waiting for their parental leave to be over, and madly looking for childcare spaces, on eight waiting lists and know they can’t afford $1,500 a month.”

Under the BC Liberal policy, which is still in effect, the province covers about 15 per cent of licensed daycare operating costs through subsidies, and helps qualified low-income parents with the costs of care.

Katrina Chen, minister of state of child care, has not returned a request for comment.

Just Posted

Light snow falling in Williams Lake

Temperatures expected to warm up for the weekend

Making Williams Lake rural accessibility capital of B.C. still a dream

Accessibility Advisory Committee chair George Atamanenko continues to pursue making Williams Lake more accessible.

Majority of CRD directors will seek re-election in fall election

CRD corporate office Alice Johnston said in the spring the CRD will prepare an election package for people interested in running for the board.

Just chillin’

Lake City Secondary School’s Grade 7 outdoor education class enjoys a day skiing.

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

Quesnel Soup event to crowdfund community improvement projects

Groups invited to pitch; event attendees will vote to help fund innovative community projects

BC Budget’s Top 10 promises the North Coast will care about

BC Ferry fare reductions, Indigenous language investments, rent support for seniors

BCHL Today: Merritt peaking at right time and Taylor signs with UNH Wildcats

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Video: B.C. firefighters featured in quirky video

Oliver Fire Department posts video about their B.C. volunteer firefighter spring training seminar

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals push Canada into third place

A gold in ski cross and a bronze in bobsleigh as men’s hockey advances to the semis

Trudeau reiterates denial of Sikh separatists in cabinet, condemns extremism

“We will always stand against violent extremism, but we understand that diversity of views is one of the great strengths of Canada.”

Canada wins gold in men’s ski cross

Leman earns redemption with ski cross gold; Homan out early

Most Read