Affordable daycare left out of NDP budget disappoints advocate

B.C. parents left unsure if $10-a-day childcare will be an empty promise

Parents and caregivers who voted for the B.C. NDP because of its $10-a-day childcare promise are disappointed the plan wasn’t part of Monday’s provincial budget update, one advocate says.

The NDP has delivered on major campaign pledges, like nixing bridge tolls and slashing MSP fees, since John Horgan was sworn in as premier in July.

But affordable childcare advocate Sharon Gregson said supporters are shocked the budget failed to address the province’s “childcare chaos,” considering it was one of its biggest platform commitments. Parents would have spent $10 per day for full-time care, $7 for part-time and no fee for families with an annual income under $40,000.

“People are asking me if it’s really going to happen,” Gregson said Tuesday. “People thought they were voting for the $10-a-day plan,”

READ MORE: NDP’s signature child care promise put off

READ MORE: Parents call on province for $10-a-day childcare

ELECTION RECAP: NDP and Green Party look to subsidize daycare costs

The budget instead contained $20 million for 4,100 new childcare spaces, which was actually part of the previous Liberal government’s budget announcement earlier in the summer.

Gregson those new spaces will still be unaffordable and won’t be enough to meet the need.

“It’s not a matter of dollars anymore,” she said. “We have no doubt about the personal commitment of the politicians… They need to take that commitment and turn it into public policy.”

In her presentation on Monday, Finance Minister Carole James said the childcare reform fell through because of a lack of consensus between her party and the Greens. Her government will continue consultations on the issue into February.

Gregson said that isn’t needed when roughly 17,000 people have signed a petition so far supporting the $10-a-day plan.

She added there’s nothing stopping unlicensed daycares from setting up shop in the meantime.

“There are parents right now who are waiting for their parental leave to be over, and madly looking for childcare spaces, on eight waiting lists and know they can’t afford $1,500 a month.”

Under the BC Liberal policy, which is still in effect, the province covers about 15 per cent of licensed daycare operating costs through subsidies, and helps qualified low-income parents with the costs of care.

Katrina Chen, minister of state of child care, has not returned a request for comment.

Just Posted

Cowichan in national spotlight with Hometown Hockey

Rogers Hometown Hockey is a two-day festival that culminates with a national broadcast Sunday

Ladysmith’s Coats for Folks closes early due to building sale

The sale of a commercial building on First Avenue last month has… Continue reading

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

VIDEO: World-renowned urban planner encourages Cowichan Valley to ‘benchmark with the best’

CVRD welcomes Gil Penalosa, founder and chair of 8 80 Cities, as part of Place-Making Speaker Series

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP member poses as construction worker to catch distracted motorists

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are taking action on distract driving this year and… Continue reading

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

UPDATE: City of Nanaimo senior manager dismissed

Chief operations officer Brad McRae no longer employed by the city

Man receives four-year sentence for stabbing Good Samaritan near Qualicum Beach

Jeffrey Brian MacDonald sentenced to additional 242 days in jail

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

UPDATE: BC Transit’s handyDart service strike delayed

LRB application by contractor means new strike notice must be issued by union

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Most Read