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Family child care operator fears losing control of business under B.C. plan

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. File photo.

A small Victoria family daycare provider says she’s conflicted about whether or not to opt-in to the province’s new child care fee reduction program.

Kim Monterey says she wants to help families she cares for save money.  But she’s not sure signing a provincial contract for her family child care (FCC) facility would be worth it.

She said choosing to sign up in the program would give the government too much control over her business.

“The wording [in the contract] is pretty clear that that’s what they want to do,” she said. “A lot of us, especially in FCC, are already trying to catch up with inflation here because we do try to keep the fees low.”

READ MORE: It’s not $10-a-day, but NDP says $1B childcare plan will help thousands of families

The B.C. government introduced a child care strategy in February as an attempt to reduce child care costs to parents by an average of $60 to $350 a month beginning April.

To date, more than 1,500 providers signed up to the program with 1,100 receiving approval.

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Monterey said the contract also states that FCCs have to help with provincial advertising of the program if the government asks.

What’s more, if a child care provider has opted-in, they have to remain loyal to the contract until it expires.

“While [the government] can change the agreement with 30 days written notice, upon enroling we must remain enrolled for the duration of the agreement – for the year,” she said.

READ MORE: Victoria daycare rejected from B.C.’s fee reduction program wants answers

Monterey said she hasn’t raised her rates since opening her daycare in 2013. She’s concerned opting-in would leave the province in control of her fee structure.

“I was hoping to pass on the savings to [the] parents but after seeing this I’m worried.”

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