(BC Green Party Sonia Furstenau/Instagram)

In their latest platform announcement in the run up to the October 24 provincial snap election, the BC Green Party addressed the issue of child care and early childhood education.

The plan, announced by party leader Sonia Furstenau at a press briefing on Tuesday, focuses on offering universal early childhood, increased funding for child care programs and cash benefits for stay at home parents.

Based on the Greens’ pledge, if elected, families with children under three years old who have a stay-at-home parent will receive up to $500 per month.

See also: BC Election highlights: Greens promise rent relief, NDP offers ICBC break, and Liberals focus on seniors 

Furstenau also announced that the party would increase funding for child care programs from $674 million in 2020-21 to $897 million in 2024-25, and thereby offer up to 25 hours’ free early childhood education per week for 3 and 4 year olds.

The Greens’ plan also pledges free childcare for working parents with children under 3 and, like the NDP’s platform announcement earlier today, seeks to bring child care initiatives under the purview of the Ministry of Education.

“There is no reason we needed to go to an election to implement these policies. In fact, many of these are proposals we directly petitioned the NDP on for the past three years – like moving child care under the Ministry of Education, removing PST on e-bikes and modifying the renter’s rebate to a means-tested program,” said Furstenau in a statement.

“Many others were included in the letter I sent to Mr. Horgan four days after I assumed the B.C. Greens Leadership outlining areas where our Caucus proposed to work with theirs.”

In addition to the child care announcements, Furstenau brought up the issue of work-life balance and proposed exploring the idea of a four-day work week through consultations with the federal government and businesses in B.C.

The Green Party say they would also help employers continue to allow telecommuting as much as possible, and invest in high-speed internet access across the province.

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