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Critics question provincial childcare funding

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The province has announced money will be made available to childcare providers to build new spaces for kids.

But an advocacy group says the move doesn’t make childcare any more affordable.

Non-profit childcare providers can apply for up to $500,000 to build and renovate facilities. For-profit organizations have $250,000 available to them.

The fact that money is being offered to for-profit childcare companies doesn’t sit well with Sharon Gregson, with the Coalition of Childcare Advocates of BC.

“It’s very worrying to see they are going to make public dollars available to for-profit operators. That means taxpayers’ dollars going to profit-making childcare.”

She says the coalition’s campaign demonstrates British Columbians are clamouring for publicly funded daycare.

“There are now close to two million supporters represented on our endorsers’ list. We’ve got 29 local governments, we’ve got 19 school districts and literally thousands of individuals on that list.”

Full-time daycare for one child hovers in the thousand-dollar-per-month range. Gregson says there are only enough daycare spaces for 20 per cent of families who need them.

The coalition is lobbying for ten-dollar-a-day publicly funded childcare, similar to a system already in place in Quebec.