Home Sections Family & Society Prime Minister in BC: Child care gets pre-budget boost

Prime Minister in BC: Child care gets pre-budget boost

Accompanied by federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development of Canada, Jenna Sudds and BC Minister of State for Child Care Mitzi Dean

justin trudeau, child care
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announcing child care gains in Canada, at an announcement in Coquitlam, BC on March 28, 2024. [livestream]

Thursday March 28, 2024 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

Today Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Coquitlam to announce more progress with child care support across Canada. He did a pre-announcement photo session in a child care centre accompanied by Premier David Eby.

Joining the prime minister at today’s announcement was federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development of Canada, Jenna Sudds.

BC was represented by Mike Farnworth, Public Safety Minister and Attorney General as well as Mitzi Dean, Minister of State for Child Care.

jenna sudds, justin trudeau
Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announcing child care gains in Coquitlam, BC on March 28, 2024. [livestream]

Upcoming Budget 2024:

This comes ahead of rolling out the federal Budget 2024 on April 16. This week a few different components of the upcoming budget have been given public exposure, including a Canadian Renters’ Bill of Rights as part of trying to grapple with housing challenges.

930 child care spaces added:

More families in British Columbia will save thousands of dollars every year as more than 930 child care spaces move into the $10 a Day ChildCareBC program in March and April.

This brings the total number of $10-a-day spaces in B.C. to more than 15,000.

island earth, landscaping

Helping families:

“Affordable, $10-a-day child care that’ll help families save thousands of dollars, help parents balance work with family and help kids get the best start to life. That’s what today’s announcement with B.C. is all about,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Together, we’re making sure families across the province get the quality child care they need without worrying about the cost.”

These spaces will help reduce costs for families and further develop access to high-quality, affordable child care as a core service. Spaces in the program reduce the average cost of child care from $1,120 a month for full-time, centre-based care to $200 a month for the same service, saving families an average of approximately $920 a month per child.

Fee reductions and no waitlist fees:

mitzi dean, mla, constituency, ad

“The families of over 15,000 children throughout B.C. have more money in their pockets as their child care bills are cut by more than $10,000 on average per child, per year,” said Mitzi Dean, B.C.’s Minister of State for Child Care.

“In addition to the $10-a-day program, we have increased the fee reductions, are eliminating waitlist fees and continue to offer additional support for families who need it most, all of which are important ways we are making life more affordable.”

Spaces converted to child care centres:

With these newly converted spaces offered at 27 additional child care centres throughout the province, B.C. has more than 15,300 spaces, surpassing its goal of 15,000 spaces and on track to achieve the next goal of 20,000 spaces by spring 2026.

“The $10-a-day savings have allowed us to plan for the future with less stress knowing that our child care fees will not be increasing like all the other costs of living,” said Sarah Mara, mother of one in child care. “It also takes the pressure of providing child care off our aging parents so that they can focus on their well-being. We thank Alex House and the $10-a-day program, and we only hope that it expands further to help more young families.”

Federal-BC partnership:

The expansion of the program represents further progress in partnership with the federal government under the Canada-British Columbia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement to support the goal of ensuring families can access high-quality, affordable and inclusive early learning and child care.

alistair macgregor, constituency

Additionally, through B.C.’s child care affordability programs, both levels of government have brought the average daily cost of child care, for children aged five and under, down to $19 from $54, the average daily cost before reductions.

“Alex House Children’s Centre at Don Christian is privileged to be a part of the $10 a Day ChildCareBC program,” said Rhea Hubbard, director, Alex House. “As a result of the participating, we have stable enrolment, which contributes to our ability to recruit and retain early childhood educators, which ensures we are able to deliver a high-quality program. Most importantly, families are less stressed because they have access to full-time affordable quality care for their children.”

$10 a Day:

For this intake, government prioritized new $10 a Day ChildCareBC centres in communities that do not yet have any or have a low number compared to the region’s population density. This is helping to ensure families in more regions throughout the province are able to access the program.

To support the creation of more child care spaces and help more B.C. families access child care, the federal government has committed an additional $47 million over three years through the Child Care Infrastructure Fund. This new funding will support non-profit, public and/or Indigenous-led organizations to build or maintain child care facilities, particularly in under-served communities, and is in addition to the existing ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund.

mitzi dean, colwood
Mitzi Dean, MLA (Esquimalt-Metchosin) announced the opening of a new child care facility at the West Shore Parks & Recreation building in Colwood, Dec 6, 2021. [Island Social Trends]

Since 2018, the Province has invested $4.3 billion in the 10-year ChildCareBC plan to build a future where affordable, inclusive and quality child care is a core service that families can rely on.


* Provincial and federal investments are helping the families of more than 80,000 children, five years and under, with the cost of child care through child care fee reductions of up to $900 per child per month.

* Provincial investments are supporting the families of nearly 48,000 school-aged children through additional fee reductions of as much as $145 per child, per month.

* An average of 35,000 children per month receive support through the Affordable Child Care Benefit (ACCB), an income-tested provincial program providing as much as $1,250 per month, per child, to help an average of eligible low- and middle-income families with their child care costs.

* The Province has funded the creation of more than 34,000 new licensed child care spaces, with more than 16,000 of these spaces open and providing care for children.

* Effective Monday, April 1, 2024, families can no longer be charged a fee to put their name on a waitlist at licensed child care centres.

ist main
Island Social Trends reports news with socioeconomic insights and analysis. Independent news service on south Vancouver Island, BC. Read free online or get the biweekly PDF by email.

===== RELATED:

Mitzi Dean announces more $10-a-day child care spaces (February 10, 2024)

Child care educators get wage boost & bonuses (October 30, 2023)

Child care providers: workforce behind the workforce (May 19, 2022)