$15-a-day childcare is a dream many parents have, especially here in BC where we pay an average of $1050 a month per child , and even higher in Vancouver, where parents pay upwards of $1200 a month for the necessary service.
The NDP is promising to make the dream a reality.
The party claims an NDP government would not only cap childcare costs to parents at $300-a-month, it would also create one million childcare spots.
But How True Is it?
Benefits of affordable childcare
A number of economists have touted the benefits.
According to them, affordable childcare puts more women in the workforce and more money in families’ pockets.
The NDP specifically cites University of Quebec at Montreal economist Pierre Fortin’s work, that claimed Quebec’s economy received a $5 billion dollar boost from its $5-a-day (now $7-a-day) plan.
Paying for the NDP’s plan will not be easy.
If the party forms government, it’s pledging $290 million in its first year, $595 million in year two, $1.2 billion in year three, and $1.8 billion in the fourth year, all for childcare.
The plan is to increase federal contributions all the way to $5 billion a year by 2023.
Another note in the fine print? In order to make the NDP promise come to fruition, voters would also have to re-elect the NDP one more time.
Where would the funding come from?
NDP Childcare Critic Jinny Simms says the billions of dollars needed for the expensive program would come from axing the Conservative plan for income splitting, and by increasing corporate taxes.
But the Surrey Newton MP admits, that is not enough.
Her party’s plan needs the provinces to come up with 40-percent of the funding.
“When you put money on the table, and you create a culture where you’re willing to work with provinces to make things work, then I think you can implement [this program]…especially when you’re talking about building new childcare spaces.”
BC Liberals are lukewarm
For its part, the province doesn’t appear to be ready to sign on to the NDP’s plan yet.
And that means things aren’t looking very good for BC parents, in terms of this dream becoming a reality.
In a statement, B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development tells CKNW the province welcomes federal support for programs like daycare, but not programs that push what it calls “new, unaffordable costs onto B.C. taxpayers.”
Read full statement from the province here:
Sharon Gregson has been fighting for affordable childcare for a very long time.
The former Vancouver School Board Trustee has been pushing a proposal for $10-a-day childcare.
Despite getting support from a number of groups, including the Surrey Board of Trade, Gregson admits the BC Liberal government has not been supportive.
“The response from the premier in a letter to the Coalition of Childcare Advocates said that we had a great plan, but it was just too bad that we didn’t have any money to implement it.”
So what are the chances Premier Christy Clark will change her mind?
Like Sims, Gregson thinks the pressue to implement the program will be too strong for the BC Liberals to ignore.