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B.C. Government Child Care Expansion: It’s All About the Workforce

The latest provincial budget released by the NDP promises we “will move forward together to build a stronger future for B.C.” One of the big pieces of the legislation is to make child care affordable for everyone and eventually lower it to just $10 a day. The $10 a day child care model has been something many in B.C. have been demanding for some time and by the end of the year, the government claims parents will be spending just $20 a day for full-time child care as it moves forward with the plan. It’s not bad, and certainly closer to the goal.


More affordable child care means more working families will be taking advantage of the lower cost and stay in the workforce to help drive the economy or forward their careers. To prepare for that the government is promising 30,000 new child care spaces by 2026. It all sounds great until you realize you need a larger child care workforce with proper training to make it a reality.

DDA’s Executive Director, Alanna Hendren, says the creation of spaces sounds good on paper, but at the end of the day it needs people to make it work, and in the Lower Mainland, that’s not an easy sell when the cost of living is among the highest in the world.

“This plan is entirely dependent on the child care workforce. Unless child care pay improves considerably, the number of new employees required to implement the government’s plan, commendable as it is, will not materialize. With the high cost of living in Vancouver, people cannot afford to work in child care.”

Developmental Disabilities Association operates nine inclusive Child Development Centres in Vancouver and Richmond. We recognize and value the contribution ECEs and our support staff bring to the development of children and their families in the early stages of life. The children of B.C. deserve the best and DDA supports paying staff a wage so that they can afford to live and work in the Lower Mainland.

The numbers tell the story…

According to Numbeo.com, a website that compares the cost of living around the world, as of October 2021, the average monthly cost for a single person in Vancouver is $1,199.54. That does not include rent.

The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Vancouver is currently $2,200 a month.

The math is sadly simple. $2,200 + $1,199.54 = $3,399.54 a month

A full-time ECE can expect to make approximately $46,800 a year before taxes and benefits.

$46,800/12 = $3,900 (before income tax/benefits/pension/insurance)

Clearly, it’s not enough and we need to do better for our child care professionals in British Columbia.