NDP Leader John Horgan has made $10-a-day childcare a key plank in his party’s election platform, but as of yet the official opposition has been slim on the details of how the program would work.
In the meantime, $10-a-day child care spokesperson and Family Policy Researcher Lynell Anderson is again making the case for the program, which she says will boost the economy.
She’s pointing to a report from the Early Childhood Educators of B.C., which says such a plan would create 69,000 new jobs and add $5.8-billion to B.C.’s GDP.
Up front, that would be through direct employment opportunities.
“There’s the building and staffing the system, it creates jobs and adds to the economy from that perspective,” she says.
But Anderson says the big payoff and the economic core that underpins the plan will come from allowing women (and some men) to get back into the workforce.
“And it would pay for itself in a number of ways. The labour force increase that’s projected in the plan will generate tax revenues and other cost savings that will actually cover the cost of the plan.”
Anderson adds those now-working parents will also have more cash in their pockets, leading to more household spending to stimulate the economy.
She adds the program would also be “green,” in the sense it creates new low-carbon jobs, and would boost the economy in all areas of the province.
Anderson says benefits were analyzed over a seven to 10 year implementation period at an additional cost of $1.5 billion a year, on top of what the government currently spends on child care.