Budget 2015 clearly shows that B.C. can afford to start implementing the $10/day child-care plan now -- and it can choose to do so without raising taxes, without cutting vital programs and services, and without going into deficit. A short and simple analysis, summarized below, provides one example of how investment in child care could be gradually introduced. With implementation phased in over 10 years and very conservative estimates of early returns to government, B.C. can still achieve surpluses throughout the budget period -- surpluses which could also be used to enhance other services. However, instead of implementing the $10/day child-care plan, the B.C. government has chosen to leave our youngest children in unregulated, unmonitored care settings, and skilled, experienced women out of the paid labour force. Government has also chosen to ignore the advice of TD Bank Chief Economist Craig Alexander, who assessed the "unquestionable" benefits of early learning for children, parents and the economy and recommended that governments prioritize investing in child care "as their finances move back into balance."
The CCPA is currently researching various implementation and financing options for the $10/day child-care plan and I look forward to having detailed analysis and proposals. Given the experience in this fiscal year, where B.C.'s original budgeted surplus of $184 million is now closer to $1 billion, we may have even more surplus funds to work with in the future. And, there is the potential for new federal contributions after the upcoming federal election, making child care even more affordable for B.C. and/or raising the possibility that we could ramp up our implementation schedule and provide more relief to families sooner.
Still, Budget 2015 on its own confirms that the B.C. government's only stated excuse for not implementing the $10/day plan -- "we can't afford it" -- is officially eliminated, along with budget deficits for the foreseeable future.
Note: Generation Squeeze estimates various benefits from $10 a day child care. For example, 38 per cent of total costs are returned to government in taxes paid by ECEs earning pay equity wages and more mothers in paid labour force. Early in implementation, benefits in table above are conservatively estimated at 33 per cent of 50 per cent of annual investment, as access and ECE wages increase (in addition to lower parent fees).
Photo: D Sharon Pruitt/flickr
Thank you for reading this story…
More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.
rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.
So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.
And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.