BC government informs the “child care community” of its spending plan for next year


Linda Reid, Minister of State for Child Care announced significant funding cuts as the BC government will not sustain the dollars provided through the federal provincial agreements:

– as of July 1, 2007 Child Care Operating Funding (CCOF) rates will be returned to the amounts the province spent prior to the federal provincial child care agreements.

– CCOF will be capped.

– CCR and R funding and provincial funds will be significantly reduced in stages.


Response to the announcement:

Child care advocates decry cuts
The provincial government has capped the number of subsidized spaces
Vancouver Sun
January 6, 2007
By: Jeff Lee


B.C.’s child care community was thrown into turmoil Friday after the provincial government cut funding for some services and capped the number of daycare spaces it will subsidize.

Saying it could not afford to maintain some of its child care commitments in the wake of the federal government’s decision to cancel a joint funding program that was started in October 2005, the province will begin a phased reduction of services starting next April.

Linda Reid, the minister of state for child care, said the province will continue to provide enhanced daycare subsidies to about 25,000 low-income families who use some of the 80,000 funded licensed spaces in the province. She also said the cuts amount to an average of $40 per month per child, which, she added, can easily be made up by the $100 a month parents now get from the federal government’s six-month-old Universal Child Care Benefits program.

That benefits program, announced by the Conservative government last year, diverted money Ottawa gave the provinces under a five-year agreement introduced by Paul Martin’s Liberals to help subsidize daycare providers.

The decision to cancel the last three years of the contract sucked $455 million away from the province, Reid said, meaning it had to reduce some programs.

“It is certainly challenging times for us,” she said.

But she believes families will put their new federal child care benefit into their day-care responsibilities.

“In that families in British Columbia are now receiving $100 a month from the federal government, we have said we would roll back our rates to the pre-October 2005 levels, which is roughly $40 a month because we believe those dollars are available through the federal government.”

The cuts were immediately decried by the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C., which said they will severely damage the fragile licensed daycare community.

“This is a huge impact on us. It will destabilize a lot of providers, who are already operating at break-even or at a loss,” said Crystal Janes, a member of the coalition’s board of directors. “Quality of care is going to be a big challenge now.”

Under the plan announced Friday in a letter to care providers, the province will:

– Reduce the subsidy to child care providers as of July 1 to levels before the federal-provincial agreement.

– Cap the number of subsidized daycare spaces, and only take new applications when other providers retire or close spaces.

– Cut funding for child care resource and referral programs as of April 1 back to pre-agreement days.

In a follow-up briefing to child care advocates, government officials said the $14-million resource and referral program, which helps train providers and assists parents in making applications for subsidies, will be reduced to $9 million in April, and to $3 million in October.

Janes said the resource and referral centres around the province provide critical services to parents and providers, and slashing the funding will undermine the ability to get quality providers in the long term.

Janes said most providers will have no alternative but to raise the rates they charge parents, even if they are subsidized.

And she said the $100-a-month benefit families now get from Ottawa for each child won’t likely cover the cost for many of the services.

In many cases, the subsidies are actually higher depending on the age of the child. Moreover, she said the province’s decision cripples plans to expand daycare services, something she said is integral to helping families earn living wages….