The federal government’s budget announcement has promised $7-billion over the next 10 years towards child care for Canadian families.
However, $10-a-Day Childcare advocate Sharon Gregson says this funding can’t come blindly – it needs a blueprint.
“What we’ve seen in the past when child care dollars come to British Columbia with no strings attached is that the money is spent to buy car seats and pay for immunizations. Both of those are great things, but that’s actually not what we need now. We actually need to make sure child care dollars are spent to make a child care system”
Gregson says the funding will allow B.C. to put a long-term plan in place.
“British Columbia could afford to implement the $10-a-day plan without federal money, but now that we’ve got this commitment, there’s absolutely no reason for B.C. not to move ahead and implement a system.”
She adds the money could reduce fees, increase the number of quality spaces available, and improve the wages and education levels of early-childhood educators.
Meanwhile, Surrey’s mayor is hailing the funding as a step in the right direction.
Linda Hepner says as a grandmother of five kids, she sees the problem face to face every day.
“I’m telling you, when things happen and there’s no childcare available? It’s grandma can you do that. And honestly, it’s tough,” she says.
“Any injection you can get into advancing childcare, in my mind is an injection into ensuring the economic security of the country. Because without these young workers and young families working, that affects economic viability.”
The budget estimates the money could open 40,000 subsidized daycare spaces over the next three years.