B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)

B.C. VOTES 2020

B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Since the 2017 B.C. election, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan’s promise to provide subsidized child care at $10 a day has been a point of contention. In the 2020 election, the urgency of getting people back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic has turned up the heat on all parties.

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson moved to match the NDP’s $10 a day promise Oct. 9, via a $1 billion program that would provide daycare at that rate per child for families with income up to $65,000. The rate would rise to $20 a day for family incomes up to $90,000 and $30 a day for families making up to $125,000.

“The only $10-a-day daycare in British Columbia right now is a federal pilot program that provides 2,000 spaces out of a total of 100,000 spaces in B.C.” Wilkinson said.

Horgan backed away from the across-the-board promise as his minority government dug into the issue, acknowledging it was a campaign slogan borrowed from the B.C. Federation of Labour. He also ran into opposition from his minority government partner, former Green leader Andrew Weaver, who objected to the flat $10 price tag and said child care should be free for low-income families.

RELATED: NDP promises another $1,000 pandemic payment

RELATED: B.C. Greens set 2045 goal for carbon-neutrality

RELATED: B.C. Liberals say they’ll eliminate small business tax

The Horgan government’s main initiative was the “affordable child care benefit,” where families register for subsidies to use licensed child care each year. It replaced the B.C. Liberal subsidy program, and the NDP says it has reached more people.

Debating the issue in the B.C. legislature in March, Katrina Chen, the NDP’s minister of state for child care, said the B.C. Liberal subsidies were reaching 21,411 families and 31,122 children.

“As of February of this year, over 66,000 children have been approved for the affordable child care benefit,” Chen said.

In its 2020 election platform, the NDP says its efforts are already delivering daycare to 32,700 families at $10 a day or less, with help from Ottawa.

The B.C. Green Party emphasizes early childhood education as well as daycare, with “professional wages” and training for existing child care workers. Leader Sonia Furstenau’s plan also includes encouraging employers to offer a four-day work week and telecommuting so parents would be more available to take care of their own children.

B.C. Greens:

Up to $500 a month for families with children under three and a stay-at-home parent

Increasing child care funding by a third over three years to cover new programs

Up to 25 hours per week of free early childhood education for ages three and four

B.C. NDP:

Expand the number of $10-a-day spaces with further federal assistance

Pass a law to protect “affordable, accessible, inclusive” child care

Create 22,000 new child care spaces with construction and modular structures

B.C. Liberals:

$1 billion to deliver $10- to $30-a-day daycare for families up to $125,000 income

A single online application form for all provincially funded daycare

A plan to create thousands of new spaces, detailed in the party platform


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Quesnel RCMP Detachment is one of seven northern police buildings which can now connect directly to Prince George for daily bail hearings. (Observer File Photo)
Bail hearings going virtual in B.C.’s north

A court pilot project will see virtual courtroom cameras set up in seven RCMP detatchments

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Angelique Houlihan gets her COVID-19 vaccine jab last week at the community-wide clinic. (Angelique Houlihan photo)
Vaccine clinic continues this week

Plenty of booking spots available

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Most Read