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

First responders at a crash scene near Rossland on Thursday, Oct. 22. Photo: Trail RCMP
First snow in West Kootenay causes vehicle collisions

The Trail and Greater District RCMP’s weekly brief contains details on collisions

The Regional District of Central Kootenay is no fan of the provincial STEP Code. File photo
RDCK board encouraged to ‘STEP’ forward with building code

RDCK directors have twice delayed adopting STEP Code standards

L-R, Kootenay mountain biking pioneer Mark Holt, Touchstones executive director Astrid Heyerdahl, and Deb MacKillop of the Nelson Cycling Club at the 2018 Touchstones exhibit. Photo: Louis Bockner
Touchstones Museum wins award for 2018 mountain bike exhibit

Exhibit responded to an unexplored yet vital part of Nelson’s identity

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson leaves the stage after announcing he is stepping down as party leader, during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Too rural, not enough diversity, soul searching needed, say BC Liberals

Elections BC says there are about 600,000 mail-in and absentee ballots across the province still to count

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way to provide an update on the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Canada has reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta COVID deaths pushes Canada past milestone of 10,000 deaths

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first was reported

Most Read