VICTORIA (November 16, 2021) – A document obtained by the Official Opposition under Freedom of Information (FOI) reveals the NDP government’s blatant attempt to drive private child care providers out of business. In May 2021, the Minister of State for Child Care opted to discontinue the provision of grants for private child care operators for the New Spaces Fund and not create any additional incentive programs.
“The NDP’s appalling decision to make it cost-prohibitive for private child care providers to operate is purely based on ideology, and families will end up paying the price for it,” said Karin Kirkpatrick, BC Liberal Critic for Children, Family Development and Childcare. “Private providers deliver 60,000 child care spaces in B.C. — half of the total — and are largely run by women. The minister needs to explain why she is deliberately targeting this group, and tell us how many spaces will be lost due to her government’s ideological intention to move away from market-based child care.”
The document shows that in September 2020, the Priorities and Accountabilities Cabinet Committee approved the recommendation that by year ten of the Childcare BC plan, only public organizations, Indigenous governments, and non-profits would be eligible for provincial child care space creation funding. As a result, space creation grants would no longer be available to for-profit providers.
“The NDP has overpromised and underdelivered for years, and this again shows their ‘government knows best’ attitude,” added Kirkpatrick. “The minister should be building the sector with operators instead of sabotaging private businesses, which have created 85 per cent of spaces under her mandate. Driving private providers out of the sector will only further escalate B.C.’s child care space shortage, and serve as a major setback to more affordable and accessible child care.”
Attachment: Ministry of Children and Family Development decision note, May 21, 2021