The campaign for a $10-a-day daycare system in B.C. came to Langley Township council’s March 11 meeting.
“This plan is the solution to the child care crisis,” said Sharon Gregson of the Coalition of Child Care Advocates
The coalition plan would levy a $10 user fee on families making at least $40,000 while families making less would not pay.
Government would subsidize the rest of the cost.
She dismissed the $55 a month B.C. Early Childhood Tax Benefit announced in the last provincial budget as insufficient when some families are paying more than that for daycare every day.
“Unless you’re very rich or very lucky” it is very hard for a family to find affordable daycare, Gregson said.
Some B.C. parents are paying as much as $1,900 a month, she added.
“It [daycare] is on the political agenda,” Gregson said.
“Sadly, it didn’t translate into anything concrete.”
Gregson noted other communities like Vancouver, Surrey, New Westminster and West Vancouver have already endorsed the coalition campaign.
The proposal would shift the responsibility for early child care onto the provincial education budget.
In response to a question from councillor Charlie Fox, Gregson said the plan is not intended to add responsibility for daycare to existing schools, but to better co-ordinate child care efforts between the two.
During a June presentation in Qualicum Beach, Gregson argued the Quebec experience proves such a plan will more than pay for itself in spin-off economic benefits.
That’s because by making daycare affordable, more Quebec women were able return to the workforce, paying income taxes that increased government revenue.
As well, Gregson said, there would be more early childhood workers who would also buy things.
– with files from Neil Horner –
Parksville Qualicum Beach News