BURNABY, BC, Sept. 23, 2022 /CNW/ - Too many families across Canada lack access to affordable, inclusive and high‑quality child care. That is why the Government of Canada has laid out a plan to provide parents in Canada with, on average, $10‑a‑day child care for children under six years old. This plan will make life more affordable for families, create new jobs, get parents—especially women—back into the workforce and grow the middle class, while giving every child a real and fair chance at success.
Today, the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, joined the Honourable Katrina Chen, British Columbia's Minister of State of Child Care, and the Honourable Jennifer Whiteside, British Columbia's Minister of Education and Child Care, to announce that child care fees for thousands of families in British Columbia will be reduced by an average of 50 % by December 2022.
The Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia will provide funding to licensed child care centres throughout the province to help parents save up to an additional $550 per month, or up to an additional $6,600 annually, for each child under six they have in licensed child care. This support will lower out-of-pocket costs for families of approximately 69,000 children accessing inclusive, high-quality child care from participating child care providers that are working with the Government of British Columbia to make child care more affordable for families.
This is an important step in reducing child care fees for British Columbia families. By the end of the year, through support from the 2021–2026 Canada-British Columbia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, B.C. will nearly double the number of spaces in the $10-a-Day program to 12,500. Together with the fee reductions, more than 20,000 children will be attending high-quality $10‑a‑day child care throughout the province. Over the course of their current five-year agreement, British Columbia has committed to working with the Government of Canada towards achieving a province-wide average of $10-a-day child care for children under six.
The time for a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system is now. The Government of Canada will continue to work with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners across the country to ensure that all families have access to affordable, inclusive and high‑quality early learning and child care no matter where they live.
"The Canada-British Columbia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement that we signed just over a year ago puts families first, and will ensure every child has access to high-quality, affordable, accessible child care. With hundreds of dollars in savings, this investment will provide much-needed support to reduce the cost of living for families with young children. Our government remains focused on making life more affordable for families and giving every child the best possible start in life."
– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould
"For too long, child care wasn't treated as a necessity and, through our ChildCareBC plan, we're making progress on making child care a core service that families can depend on. We know child care is one of the biggest bills many families face each month. By significantly cutting child care fees for families again, we are putting more money back into their pockets."
– Minister of State for Child Care in British Columbia, Katrina Chen
The Government of Canada has reached early learning and child care agreements with the governments of British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Yukon, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Ontario. The governments of Canada and Quebec also reached an asymmetric agreement to strengthen the early learning and child care system in the province.
As part of the agreement with British Columbia, the Government of Canada is investing $3.2 billion over five years to help improve regulated early learning and child care for children age under six in the province.
Through a combination of provincial and federal investments in early learning and child care, British Columbia has funded the creation of an additional 30,500 new licensed child care spaces since the launch of ChildCareBC in 2018. In addition, by the end of March 2026, British Columbia expects to create an additional 30,000 new child care spaces by 2026 under the Canada-wide Agreement, increasing new full-time regulated early learning and child care spaces throughout the province to 60,000. This number is expected to rise to 70,000 by March 2028; 40,000 of which would be spaces for children aged 0-5, funded by the Canada-wide Agreement.
With today's announcement, British Columbia joins provinces and territories across Canada who have already announced a reduction of child care fees as part of the Canada‑wide commitment. The Governments of Quebec and Yukon have already achieved an average cost of $10-a-day or lower for regulated child care.
As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a transformative investment of over $27 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system with provinces and territories. Combined with other investments, including in Indigenous early learning and child care, up to $30 billion over five years will be provided in support of early learning and child care.
The Government of Canada is committed to tabling federal legislation by the end of 2022 to enshrine the principles of a Canada‑wide child care system into law, where all families have access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care no matter where they live.
Toward $10-a-Day: Early Learning and Child Care - Canada.ca
Canada announces historic first early learning and child care agreement
Canada-British Columbia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement – 2021 to 2026
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
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