Ottawa investing billions in B.C. child care

Agreement will create 40,000 new spaces at $10 per day

Ottawa investing billions in B.C. child care

The federal government is establishing a Canada-wide early learning and child care system that will make life more affordable for Canadian families and increase women’s participation in the workforce.

Under an agreement with British Columbia, Ottawa will invest $3.2 billion over the next five years to help improve regulated early learning and child care for children under six years of age in the province.

“Too many parents across the country are struggling to find affordable, high-quality child care,” says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “This agreement with British Columbia is a big step forward in establishing Canada-wide child care that will make life more affordable for families, get women back into the workforce, and drive economic growth, while giving every child in Canada, no matter where they live, the chance to achieve their potential.”

In April, the federal government confirmed it was investing $30 billion over five years for a national child care system, reaching $9.2 billion every year in permanent investments. 

Workers’ union Unifor welcomed the agreement in B.C. 

"We all know Canada desperately needs this child care plan," says Jerry Dias, Unifor's national president. "Women shouldn't have to choose between their career or taking care of their family."

Unifor is now calling on all other provinces to step up, noting that in his statement, Trudeau alluded that he has been in talks with other provinces.

50 per cent reduction

The federal and B.C. governments agreed on a $10-per-day child care and will work together towards achieving an average parent fee of $10 per day for all regulated child care spaces for children under six by the end of the agreement.

With the latest investment, British Columbians will see a 50 per cent reduction in average parent fees for child care by the end of 2022.

The agreement will also lead to the creation of 30,000 new regulated early learning and child care spaces for children under the age of six within five years, and 40,000 spaces within seven years. 

COVID-19 has increased demands and pressures on unpaid caregivers, and this has caused unprecedented burnout (70 per cent) across 12 countries, according to a previous report. 

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