VICTORIA – B.C.’s new affordable child care plan, which is expected to be announced in today’s government throne speech, is getting a $153-million infusion from the federal government to create new spaces that first focus on infant and toddlers from low-income and vulnerable families.

The money, outlined in a new funding agreement between Ottawa and B.C., sets aside specific amounts, targets, and spaces based on priority.

It offers an early glimpse at some aspects of the 10-year universal child care program the B.C. NDP government is expected to unveil later today in its speech from the throne. However, once B.C. adds its own funds in next week’s budget, the scope of the program will expand dramatically and is expected to include savings for most British Columbians and not just low-income residents.

The federal money will allow B.C. to start this year reducing the cost of child care spaces for children up to three years old for families that earn under $51,000 a year.

“All families accessing these spaces would have significantly reduced fees and the most financially vulnerable families will receive the greatest benefit,” reads the deal.

“For example, families earning up to $51,000 gross per year would have the lowest costs while those earning more than $51,000 gross per year would be able to access infant/toddler spaces at a significantly reduced cost, paying only approximately 20 per cent of median child care fees for group infant/toddler care in BC.

“While all families will have access, to ensure equitable access, approximately half of the spaces at each facility will be reserved for families earning up to $51,000 gross per year.”

Lt-Gov. Judith Guichon arrives to deliver a speech from the throne at the Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday February 13, 2018.

Ottawa’s money includes $51 million this current 2017/18 fiscal year for early learning care, indigenous child …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Politics


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