Affordable daycare left out of NDP budget disappoints advocate

Affordable daycare left out of NDP budget disappoints advocate

B.C. parents left unsure if $10-a-day childcare will be an empty promise

Parents and caregivers who voted for the B.C. NDP because of its $10-a-day childcare promise are disappointed the plan wasn’t part of Monday’s provincial budget update, one advocate says.

The NDP has delivered on major campaign pledges, like nixing bridge tolls and slashing MSP fees, since John Horgan was sworn in as premier in July.

But affordable childcare advocate Sharon Gregson said supporters are shocked the budget failed to address the province’s “childcare chaos,” considering it was one of its biggest platform commitments. Parents would have spent $10 per day for full-time care, $7 for part-time and no fee for families with an annual income under $40,000.

“People are asking me if it’s really going to happen,” Gregson said Tuesday. “People thought they were voting for the $10-a-day plan,”

READ MORE: NDP’s signature child care promise put off

READ MORE: Parents call on province for $10-a-day childcare

ELECTION RECAP: NDP and Green Party look to subsidize daycare costs

The budget instead contained $20 million for 4,100 new childcare spaces, which was actually part of the previous Liberal government’s budget announcement earlier in the summer.

Gregson those new spaces will still be unaffordable and won’t be enough to meet the need.

“It’s not a matter of dollars anymore,” she said. “We have no doubt about the personal commitment of the politicians… They need to take that commitment and turn it into public policy.”

In her presentation on Monday, Finance Minister Carole James said the childcare reform fell through because of a lack of consensus between her party and the Greens. Her government will continue consultations on the issue into February.

Gregson said that isn’t needed when roughly 17,000 people have signed a petition so far supporting the $10-a-day plan.

She added there’s nothing stopping unlicensed daycares from setting up shop in the meantime.

“There are parents right now who are waiting for their parental leave to be over, and madly looking for childcare spaces, on eight waiting lists and know they can’t afford $1,500 a month.”

Under the BC Liberal policy, which is still in effect, the province covers about 15 per cent of licensed daycare operating costs through subsidies, and helps qualified low-income parents with the costs of care.

Katrina Chen, minister of state of child care, has not returned a request for comment.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

The IIO’s chief civilian director has cleared Victoria police of any wrongdoing in the Nov. 21 death of a man they had earlier arrested. (Black Press Media file photo)
Investigation clears Victoria police of wrongdoing in arrested man’s death

Police watchdog determined police action or inaction played no role in man’s death

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos ran the length of Vancouver Island, with the help of their van Pippi, raising more than $12,000 for 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Greater Victoria pair finishes running length of Vancouver Island a day early

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos raised more than $12,000 for single parents

Penny Hart is calling on the community to help find her son Sean Hart who was last seen on Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Search spreads for Saanich man missing from mental health facility for nearly a month

Family hopeful as possible sightings reported across Island and in Vancouver

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are inviting audiences into their home for ‘A Celtic Family Christmas’. (Submitted)
Natalie MacMaster coming to you through Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Here’s your chance to enjoy the famed fiddler in an online show with her husband Donnell Leahy.

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Most Read