The BC government’s 2021 Budget includes a $233 million investment in childcare which involves more than doubling the number of childcare spaces available to British Columbians for $10 dollars a day or less. Access to affordable childcare will allow more parents to attend post-secondary education, finish in-progress credentials, join the workforce, or retrain for a different career.
“The dream of going to College or University is out of reach for many due to cost, especially for those with children,” said Tanysha Klassen, Chairperson of the BC Federation of Students. “We applaud today’s investment in childcare as it lowers yet another barrier for attending post-secondary.”
The cost of education is higher than just tuition and textbooks. Families pay over $10,000 a year for an infant care space in 78% of cities examined by the Centre for Policy Alternatives. Throughout the Lower Mainland that could be upwards of $12,000. The province has already made progress in delivering on its promise for affordable childcare for all and today's investment is a step forward to achieving that goal. The BC Federation of Students is in support of the $10aday childcare plan and the implementation of the seamless day model of early learning and childcare.
“Education is absolutely crucial to our post-pandemic recovery and for building a diverse economy in British Columbia,” said Klassen. “Not only will today's investment help make it that much more affordable for families but it will also create more jobs in the early childhood education sector.”
Investments in childcare increase participation in the workforce, creates new jobs, and supports childhood development. It is estimated that the full implementation of $10 a day childcare could add $5.8 billion to the provincial GDP and create 69,000 jobs across British Columbia. The investment today also includes doubling the ECE wage enhancements to $4 an hour to assist in retention and recruitment of workers into the early childhood education career.
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