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

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where one employee is still currently isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was first declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
54 positive COVID-19 cases associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

There’s been a two-person increase in positive cases since Tuesday (Dec. 1)

K-J Millar/The Northern View
8 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the Northern Health Authority

Since Nov. 27, there have been 191 new cases reported in NHA

Image courtesy CDC
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kitamaat Village

Haisla Nation Council said there are two confirmed cases they are aware of at this time

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty ventilators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of paymens for household incomes up to $175,000

KIJHL games have been postponed through Dec. 31. (File photo)
KIJHL postpones all games through end of 2020

Due to provincial health orders, games up to Dec. 31 have been pushed back

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Former Kelowna social worker arrested for allegedly stealing from foster kids

Robert Riley Saunders was arrested in Alberta and will be brought back to B.C. to face charges

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Most Read