On cuts to childcare in BCUncategorized
February 6 marks one year since Stephen Harper announced the cancellation of federal-provincial agreements on child care in the name of “choice” for parents. Instead of committing to ongoing funding for a national child care system, Harper created the totally inadequate Universal Child Care Benefit, which gives parents (a taxable) $100 per month per child under six.
In January, the BC government said that due to this lack of federal financial support, it would be reducing childcare funding, effective July 2007 – despite a projected provincial surplus of $2 billion.
The BC cuts mean that as of July, parents will have to pay between $50 and $150 more per child each month for child care.
Victoria’s Child Care Resource and Referral Centre, which provides valuable assistance to both child care providers and parents, has had its funding cut severely as well, and faces an uncertain future. The services the Victoria CCRR provides include help with child care subsidy applications, hands-on assistance with finding child care spaces, and information about all sorts of parenting issues. Child care workers and operators rely on the Victoria CCRR for its extensive resource library and professional development workshops. All these services and more are at risk.
Some “choice” that taxable $100 from Harper is giving BC parents now.
Citizens who oppose these federal and provincial decisions need to speak out. Parents and providers will be the most directly affected, but everyone has something at stake in this issue. See information on how to contact provincial and federal representatives below.
Community groups are organizing several events in the coming weeks – see below for details. If you care about child care, please try to attend them.
I urge you as well to continue supporting my private members’ bill, the Early Learning and Child Care Act, by writing Human Resources Minister Monte Solberg and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. If passed, my bill would ensure the kind of reliable ongoing funding for child care that would prevent crises such as this in the future.