Federal budget 2016 introduced early learning and child care transfers to provinces and territories of $400 million for fiscal 2017/18. Typically, these transfers are paid on a per capita basis, so BC anticipates receiving approximately $52 million (13%).
BC’s Early Years Office (EYO) staff confirm that none of these funds were committed in BC’s recently released 2017 Budget. The EYO staff and colleagues in government are currently exploring spending options for governments’ consideration once these funds are confirmed and received, and invited input from the Early Childhood Development Roundtable.
Note: This phone conversation took place prior to the release of the 2017 federal budget, which confirmed that child care funding is in place – and scheduled to increase – over the next 11 years. While we will continue to advocate for much-needed and substantial increases in both federal and provincial child care investments, this long-term commitment by the federal government makes meaningful change in BC even more imperative.
To support the ECD Roundtable in providing input, this document summarizes the evidence-based principles and policies for child care funding that have informed the advocacy work of First Call and its members.
Effective Evidence-Based Child Care Policies
- Prioritize direct funding of licensed child care services that is tied to accountability mechanisms
- Lower parent fees, raise wages, educational requirements and supports for caregivers and create more public- and community-owned, licensed child care spaces
- Address barriers to access
- Advance the right of Indigenous people to have jurisdiction over their child care services
- Build from what exists