UBC’s Early Learning and Child Care Research Unit has just released a fact sheet that summarizes trends in public financing for childcare in BC. This comes on the heels of a January 5, 2007 BC government announcement of a series of childcare funding reductions that will be implemented through October 2007.
The federal government’s termination of the bilateral agreements on Early Learning and Child Care was given as the rationale for the cutbacks. The province confirmed that existing commitments for child care subsidies and the Supported Child Development program (for children with additional support needs) will be maintained on an ongoing basis, but funding for:
* Child Care Resource and Referral will be reduced by 77 per cent;
* Grants that help offset operating costs for licensed family and centre-based programs providing services for children under six will be reduced by 27 per cent (effective July 2007 through March 2008).
Furthermore, Minister Reid pointed out in her January 5, 2007 letter to the childcare community that, pending “clarity around Ottawa’s Child Care Spaces Initiative”:
* Major capital grants for new licensed spaces will not be available;
* Operating funds for new licensed spaces will be subject to a “program intake cap”.
CUPE has joined with many partners in advocating for a publicly funded national childcare program that is community-based, high quality, affordable, accessible and accountable. Visit BC’s Child Care NOW! for up to date information.