As prices are expected to rise across the board in 2023, child care may be one thing parents in British Columbia can save on.
On January 3rd, just as parents return to work from the long weekend, the province released a statement on how they will continue to try and make child care easier on parents in the coming year.
More than 1,375 child care spaces will move into the $10-a-day program through ChildCareBC in January alone.
Grace Lore, BC’s Minister of State for Child Care says she wants the model to be a staple service that the province can provide parents.
“Affordable child care can be life-changing, and with these new $10-a-day spaces, we continue our work to make life more affordable for families with more spaces converted in the next few weeks,” said Lore.
“The recent child care savings and the $10-a-Day ChildCareBC program are some of the ways we are making child care more affordable and allowing parents–especially mothers–to pursue opportunities and achieve financial independence and security, which benefits families, our communities and the economy as a whole.”
BC parents can calculate how much they’ll save on child care with this online tool
The child care spaces that operate within the province’s $10-a-day program make it so parents spend only $200 per month rather than upwards of $1,000.
BC’s Ministry of Families, Children and Social Development and the Ministry of Education and Child Care have set the lofty goal of adding 12,500 spaces to the already long list of these type of child care centres.
In an interview with Centennial Day Care Society–which is a small child care operation in Greater Victoria–Executive Director, Alexandra Maurice said the province decides who gets to be a part of the $10-a-day program via a lottery system.
“The government is obviously trying to make child care more affordable so we have this new $10 a day initiative,” Maurice told Victoria Buzz.
“Everybody just goes into this pool, hundreds and hundreds of centres that want to become a $10 a day centre. Then they’re selected at random.”
She believes this funding becoming available is meant to close the gap between what parents had to pay before and get them to this program’s state.
“The goal for BC is that everyone be at $10 a day,” said Maurice.
The province said they do give extra consideration to Indigenous communities and communities that do not already have the more affordable option.
“I think it’s really incredible that [the province] is doing this and seeing how important child care is,” said Maurice.
“It really is an essential service, it is a challenging job, and essentially, child care can be seen as the backbone of the working force.”
In a email statement to Victoria Buzz, the province said the selection for daycares goes through a vetting process based on the population density, type of child care program, facility ownership, community with additional consideration given to providers in communities that do not currently have a $10-a-day site.
BC claims that applications are reviewed and approved on a rolling basis now, meaning new centres can be announced monthly.
Within Island Health’s region there are currently 39 locations that are part of the program, 16 of which are within Greater Victoria.