VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising federal money to help B.C. bring the cost of child care for parents down to $10 a day in the next five years.
Trudeau made the announcement in Coquitlam Thursday, saying B.C. is the first province to sign such a deal with Ottawa.
$10-a-day child care was a promise originally made by the B.C. NDP when the party first took office in 2017.
In April, the federal budget included a goal to see a 50 per cent reduction in the average fees for regulated, early learning and child care by the end of 2022. On Thursday, Trudeau said the feds will invest $3.2 billion in the coming years into child care in B.C.
“In the next five years, we’ll work with the provincial government to achieve an average of $10-a-day child care for all regulated spaces for kids under six,” Trudeau said Thursday.
He adds by the end of next year, the goal is to reduce child care costs by 50 per cent.
“By the end of next year, the average child care fees for B.C. parents will be cut in half and there will be more than 12,000 $10-a-day spaces available,” he said.
The federal government is investing $3.2 billion over the next five years into child care in BC.
By the end of next year the goal is to reduce child care costs by 50% and in five years costs should be $10/day. #cdnpoli
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) July 8, 2021
The agreement also aims create 40,000 child care spaces in B.C. in seven years.
Trudeau says in the Lower Mainland, child care can cost up to $60 a day.
“That’s $300 a week for one child. What if you have two or three children?” he asked, saying lower child care costs would benefit families and the economy alike.
Trudeau’s visit to B.C. comes amid rumours he will call an election, which the prime minister recently refused to confirm or deny. His visit to B.C. includes a meeting with the mayor of Lytton, which was destroyed in a wildfire last week.
Political scientist Hamish Telford says the prime minister will likely try to get support from B.C. Premier John Horgan on several other issues, including the Canada-U.S. border closure and post-pandemic recovery.
The leaders of the federal Conservative party and NDP are also making stops across Canada this week.
With files from Paul James