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B.C. NDP campaign promise of $10-a-day childcare still in the works: John Horgan

B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan is licked by a dog at a park in Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, June 7, 2017, where he spoke about the future of daycare in the province of British Columbia.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
June 07, 2017 - 7:45 PM

VANCOUVER - NDP Leader John Horgan says he will stick to his campaign promise of $10-a-day childcare in British Columbia after signing an agreement with the Green party to oust Christy Clark's Liberals.

Horgan campaigned on the commitment but the pact signed with Green Leader Andrew Weaver was less specific, saying only that a New Democrat government would expand spaces, increase affordability and ensure childcare is accessible.

Asked Wednesday which childcare platform B.C. parents would see if he is premier, the NDP's or the Greens, Horgan said it would be the New Democrats' platform.

His government would create 22,000 new childcare spaces in the next three years, growing to 66,000 spaces in five years, he said at an event in a Vancouver playground with parents and kids gathered behind him.

"I think it's critically important to these families, it's critically important to our economy, that we get moving on ensuring we're providing quality, affordable, accessible childcare," he said.

The NDP campaign platform promised to bring in childcare with an investment of $175 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year and growing to $400 million by 2019-20. The plan would take 10 years to fully implement.

Full-day childcare would be offered for $10 a day and part-time care for $7 a day, with no fee for families with annual incomes below $40,000, while more early childhood educators would be trained and paid "fair wages," the platform says.

Horgan wouldn't say exactly how much more early childhood educators would earn under a NDP government. He said the focus in the first term would be on building new spaces.

Waiting lists are sometimes 12 to 14 months long, which is "unacceptable" in the 21st century, he said.

The Green platform called for free daycare for children up to age three with working parents, free preschool for three and four-year-olds and a benefit of up to $500 a month for families with children under three and a stay-at-home parent.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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