Home > BC Liberals, BC New Democrats, British Columbia Politics > Child Care: The Other Major Issue In The BC Provincial Election?

Child Care: The Other Major Issue In The BC Provincial Election?

August 6, 2008

I’m sure that most of my readers from BC would agree the the carbon tax and the environment in general will be a major issue in the next BC provincial election. But I believe that there is another major issue bubbling up from the background.

Child care.

There has been activity from both major provincial parties in the background for some time now.

The BC NDP has had the Raising BC tour, which consisted of the NDP going into local communities to consult with citizens about their opinions and experiences with child care, with the findings being used to develop a policy on the matter.

The BC Liberals, on the other hand, have been holding public consultations on publicly funding opitional kindergarden for three and four year olds, and full-day kindergarten for five year olds.

I suspect that the BC Liberal plan is to “have its cake and eat it too”. With the expanded kindergarten policy, they will get support for both those that don’t want a universal childcare system like Quebec’s (“Might as which have our child learn and play with other children for a few hours”) and do want one (“At least it’s a soild first step.”)

Of course, while this plan does have great electoral appeal, it really doesn’t solve the problems facing parents in need of child care today, the two main problems being that child care is expensive, and child care pratictioners are scarce, partly due to low wages.

Another thing about the BC Liberal plan is that most of the onus for executing this plan will fall on the school districts. Getting new kindergarten teachers and classroom space takes money, and considering that the BC Liberals have presided over funding formual changes which have resulted in the mass clourse of schools, I suspect that this new burden is not going to be funded properly.

The child care wars in BC are about to begin, and the BC Liberals, like it or not, have made the first major movement.  How will the BC NDP prepare its counterattack? I’m sure that because of the Raising BC tour, it will be soild and well thought out.

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  1. jdw
    September 13, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    I find it laughable that you claim child care is expensive on the one hand and object to low worker wages on the other hand. Basic Childcare runs 2.75 – 3.50 per hour per child in a licensed care facility and less in home family care.

    The impediment to plentiful, quality care is not price points or worker wages. The impediment is gov’t policy – published and unpublished. For the last 9+ years, there has been a move to ‘professionalize’ the child care industry, This has put unreasonable restraints on entrants (the reasons to not enter childcare grow every year). A FUNCTIONAL professional Daycare industry CANNOT exist beside home based daycare.

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