Investing in early childhood educators creates a StrongerBC, Canada (flickr.com)

Media Contacts

Ministry of Children and Family Development

Government Communications and Public
Engagement
778 974-5825

Backgrounders

Facts about early childhood education in B.C.
  • B.C. was the first province to sign a Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the federal government, and it will provide B.C. with $3.2 billion over the next five years.
  • Since 2018, B.C. has taken action to increase compensation and improve education and professional development opportunities by:
    • providing over 10,000 bursaries to support nearly 6,000 ECE students;
    • creating more than 1,150 new ECE student spaces at public post-secondary schools;
    • implementing a wage enhancement of $4 an hour for more than 10,000 ECEs who have received wage enhancements this year, raising the ECE median wage in B.C. to about $25 an hour;
    • changing legislation that will improve oversight and help reduce barriers to certification.
  • In 2021-22, the Province is investing $1.32 million to expand ECE seats in public post-secondary institutions.
  • Since 2018, the Province has invested $2.7 billion in ChildCareBC, funding more than 26,000 new licensed child care spaces and reducing fees for tens of thousands of families in B.C.
  • As part of federal Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a transformative investment of up to $27.2 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system with provinces and territories. Combined with other investments, including in Indigenous early learning and child care, up to $30 billion over five years will be provided in support of early learning and child care.
  • To increase the supply of child care spaces, by 2025-26, the Province and the federal government will have funded about 50,000 new, licensed child care spaces since the beginning of ChildCareBC in 2018.
  • Through previous investments in early learning and child care, the Government of Canada helped to create over 40,000 more affordable child care spaces across the country prior to the pandemic, including approximately 2,800 in British Columbia.
Progress on ChildCareBC

B.C. is working to give children an early start on their learning journey and build a future where child care is a core service that’s available to any family that wants it, when they need it, at a price they can afford.

To address rising child care costs, lack of spaces and a lack of supports for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs), the Province launched the 10-Year ChildCareBC Plan in 2018. Since then, the Province has invested $2.7 billion in ChildCareBC.

Now entering Year 5, ChildCareBC is making progress, with tens of thousands of families paying less for child care. Here is some of the progress that has been made since 2018:

Affordability

  • Tens of thousands of families are saving up to $1,600 a month, per child, through the Affordable Child Care Benefit and Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative (CCFRI), resulting in annual savings of up to $19,000 a year, per child, for more than 68,000 spaces.
  • Through CCFRI alone, parents have saved more than $284 million since it was launched in 2018.
  • In 2018, about 2,500 child care spaces at 50 licensed child care facilities were converted into $10 a Day ChildCareBC Sites.
  • In spring 2022, $10 a Day spaces are being more than doubled to 6,250 and will double again for children aged five and under to about 12,500 spaces by end of this year.
  • By December 2022, the costs of other child care spaces in B.C. will be lowered by an average of 50% for children aged five and under.

Accessibility

  • Since July 2018, more than 26,000 new licensed child care spaces have been funded through ChildCareBC’s space-creation initiatives – exceeding the initial goal of 22,000.
  • More than 8,600 of those spaces are now open to parents throughout the province.
  • By 2026, the Province and the federal government will have funded over 50,000 new licensed child care spaces since the beginning of ChildCareBC.

Early Childhood Educator (ECE) recruitment and retention

  • Launched a recruitment and retention strategy in 2018 to ensure ECEs receive the professional recognition they deserve through better access to bursaries and professional development opportunities, as well as higher compensation.
  • Nearly $10 million has been invested to create 1,150 new ECE student spaces at post-secondary schools – doubling the number of available ECE seats in three years.
  • Over 10,000 bursaries have been provided to support nearly 6,000 ECE students.
  • Since 2018, the Province has increased wage enhancements three times, including doubling it under Budget 2021 to $4 an hour for more than 10,000 ECEs who have received wage enhancements this year, raising the ECE median wage in B.C. to about $25 an hour.
  • In fall 2021, the Province changed legislation that will remove barriers to certification once regulations are in place and the legislation enacted.

A Living Wage Report, released in November 2021, showed that investments in child care have improved affordability for modest- and middle-income families.