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BC NDP says $10-a-day child care promise will be kept

NDP on affordable child care
Wed, Jun 7: NDP leader John Horgan held a news conference today on affordable child care that was short on details and long on politics. Grace Ke reports.
BC NDP leader John Horgan says B.C. needs “quality, accessible [and] affordable child care” and he is promising to keep his $10-a-day plan for child care services in the province.

Horgan outlined some details of his 10-year plan at a press conference on Wednesday. The first step in the plan will be to focus on acquiring more child care spaces.

“We plan by year five to have 66,000 new spaces and the $10-a-day plan, which has been advocated not by me, not by Greens, not by Liberals, but by child care providers and advocates who have been working on these issues for a decade,” said Horgan. “I believe it’s a plan that can work, and we’re going to implement it.”

In the next three years, Horgan said they hope to have created 22,000 new child care spaces, stressing the province needs more early childhood educators.

“This isn’t about babysitting, this is about preparing our children so they can be everything they possibly can, realizing their full potential,” he said.

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“The first order of business is to aggregate all of the child care activities within government, within the Ministry of Education, social development, Ministry of Children and Family Development to figure out what we’ve got [and] where we go from there but if you listen to the stories we’ve heard today the big challenge is finding spaces. And wait lists are sometimes 12 to 14-months long and you have to get on those wait lists before your child is born and that is just, it seems to me, in the 21st century, unacceptable.”

Horgan said it is important that families in B.C. can stay in the communities they want to stay in and grow their families.

As part of its platform, the BC NDP promised to bring in an affordable child care system at a cost of $1.5 billion a year.

While Horgan would not disclose too many details about the cost of his plan, he has previously said rates would be covered through a tax on the wealthy.

“I get that people want to know what’s going to happen 10 years out but what I want to know is when can we get into the legislature, determine who the government of British Columbia is and then start building the safe, secure, affordable spaces that families need, that’s my priority,” said Horgan.

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