The British Columbia vision for child care

EXCERPT from Hansard


D. Thorne: Since 2001 the B.C. government has cut $40 million from the provincial child care budget. Until today the federal government has picked up the slack, providing millions to the province for child care. In fact, B.C. had a five-year funding agreement with the feds worth $633 million for children under six, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper cancelled it. These federal dollars funded quality, affordable child care for B.C. families, and this government let that money slip away.

To the Minister of State for Childcare: what will you do now to fill the financial gap created by the cancellation of the federal government child care program? Will your government reinvest in child care for British Columbia families, or will you abandon it?

Hon. L. Reid: Our vision for child care remains clear. B.C. children will enter school better prepared to learn, better prepared to succeed. B.C. families will have access to quality child care. Families will have access to a range of services in British Columbia — early learning programs, services that we’re going to deliver in concert with the Ministry of Education. Children with special needs will be better supported to learn as they go forward in community.

Children will be cared for by qualified early child care providers. We are working in partnership with the sector. B.C. families will have access to community hubs where a range of services will be provided.

That is the British Columbia vision for child care. We will continue to deliver on that vision for child care, because it’s vitally important that we have the strongest possible start in this province for British Columbia families. That work is underway. That work will continue.