VICTORIA — B.C. child care advocates say they’re confident the NDP government is still pursuing its election promise of $10-a-day child care, even as the province dropped the slogan from its throne speech Tuesday.
Premier John Horgan said it’s still his goal to honour what he campaigned on in May 2017, namely to reach $10-a-day full-time child care, $7-a-day part-time, and free child care for low-income families, to be phased in over 10 years. However, his government’s throne speech made no mention of the targets or the $10-a-day slogan that was so prevalent throughout his election campaign.
“That’s our commitment, that’s what we’re going to drive toward,” Horgan told reporters Tuesday.
“But it’s also important you remember that the $10-a-day label to drive the child care plan was put together not by the NDP but by child care providers, academics and providers. We’ve embraced it and are going to implement it.”
Horgan said the plan, that will be unveiled in full in the Feb. 20 provincial budget, has always been that “the first three years are the ramp-up period, where we’re looking at toddler and infant care, we’re creating more spaces, we’re training more people. And those elements will be in the budget.”
The $10-a-day title may have been dropped due to a disagreement with the B.C. Greens, who are in a power-sharing deal with the NDP and oppose what they call the unnecessary “slogan.” Green leader Andrew Weaver said Tuesday the NDP should simply be working on providing the best universal child care plan it can, without the label.
Horgan’s throne speech Tuesday promised “the largest investment in child care in B.C. history” but with few details, costs or timelines.
Liberal opposition leader Andrew Wilkinson accused the NDP of abandoning its election promises on child care and housing.
“This is a government that doesn’t have the stomach to govern because they made promises they cannot deliver on,” he said. “The throne speech is so completely lacking in substance that we are now concerned they are saving the rude surprises for the budget, where they are likely to raise taxes.”
An agreement B.C. signed with Ottawa late last week for $153-million in federal child care funding over three years did offer more clues, including B.C.’s plan for a $1-million grant program for non-profit organizations, municipalities, universities, hospitals, colleges or schools to create new child care spaces, as well as a boost in operational funds that would drive down costs …read more
Source:: Vancouver Sun – Politics