New child care legislation is building on the strong foundation that will bring an inclusive, universal early learning and child care system to B.C. families.
The introduction of the early learning and child care (ELCC) act and the early childhood educators (ECEs) act recaptures the momentum of the original BC Child Care Act introduced in 1996 to begin building an accessible, affordable, quality, inclusive child care system.
The proposed ELCC act will increase transparency and accountability by requiring the Province to produce annual reports on its progress towards building an inclusive, universal child care system. The report will also include how the Province is collaborating with Indigenous peoples to support Indigenous-led child care. The ELCC act will also give the minister responsible the authority to create new regulations, including the ability to set limits on child care fees for parents. This will help ensure child care is more affordable for families.
The proposed ECE act will help strengthen and support quality, and recognizes the value of the child care workforce by creating a stand-alone statute for ECEs. It will also reduce barriers to certifications for ECEs by allowing the registrar to issue temporary certification to ECEs who have received training abroad. This will help address the need for trained ECEs throughout the province.
Once enacted, this legislation will move the province further along the path to achieving a child care system that meets the needs of B.C. families. These acts are part of the foundation for an inclusive, universal child care system in B.C. They will be adapted based on input from the child care sector, including advocates, families, First Nations leaders and Indigenous partners, as B.C.’s early learning and child care system is built.
These acts reintroduce aspects of BC Benefits (Child Care) Act, which was introduced in 1996, as well as the Child Care BC Act from 2001, which signalled the government of the day’s commitment to building affordable, quality and accessible child care for families. The sections of the act that made affordability programs possible were repealed later in 2001 following a provincial election and a change in government.
- The Province has funded almost 26,000 new licensed spaces since the launch of Childcare BC.
- The Childcare BC plan has helped tens of thousands of parents save up to $1,600 a month, per child, through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative.
- Budget 2021 includes investments to double the wage enhancements for ECEs to $4/hour by the end of September 2021.
- Budget 2021 investments will also convert about 400 licensed spaces into Aboriginal Head Start spaces that will provide Indigenous-led, culturally relevant and no-cost child care to Indigenous families throughout the province.
- For information on health and safety standards for child care during COVID-19, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/ChildCareCovid-19Response
- Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430
- For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare