This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: “Spending money on day care better than on ads”

Columnists Laila Yuile and Kathryn Marshall battle over the issues of the day. Winner of the last duel on the provincial deficit was Kathryn Marshall with 55%.

This week’s topic:

Should B.C. bring in $10-per-day child care?

While Kathryn makes a good point about the issues Quebec’s day-care program is dealing with, B.C. advocates have learned what works and what doesn’t, paving the way for a better program here. Unfortunately, Kathryn missed the bigger picture completely.

The $10-per-day plan, proposed by the Coalition of Child Care Advocates in B.C., is not just about providing accessible and safe child care for parents, it’s about investing in the future and our economy. In fact, the plan has been soundly endorsed by businesses across the province, including the Burnaby and Surrey Boards of Trade, who say work-life conflicts with employees with preschool-aged children are costing B.C. businesses approximately $600 million a year.

Read Kathryn Marshall’s column

It’s not only the business community that recognizes the economic and social benefits of this plan, leading economists do as well. Craig Alexander, chief economist for TD Bank and one of the top bank economists in Canada, states that for every dollar a government invests in child care, the return is between $1.50 and $3. Canadian economist Pierre Fortin has also shown that in Quebec, the program now pays for itself…

Read the rest of this column, and vote for who you think should win the debate at

7 thoughts on “This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: “Spending money on day care better than on ads”

    1. Curious if you object to your taxpayers dollars going into eduction or MCFD?

      I suggest you read the studies. This is one thing that a government can invest it, that actually pays back up to double sometimes in what benefits the economy.

      From a recent article:

      Critics trivialize universal child care as taxpayer-funded babysitting. In fact, early learning creates lifelong value. TD Bank Chief Economist Craig Alexander recently noted that early care and learning has a ripple effect, leading to better job prospects, higher earnings and reduced risk of poverty. For low-income families or single parents, the ability to work while children are young can mean the difference between living on social assistance and working for a better life for their families.

      “The biggest bang you get for your government dollar in terms of investment is investment in education in young individuals,” Alexander noted. Investing in early learning increases our economic competitiveness over the long term, but we fail to fund early learning like we do the school system: $8,300 funding per child in B.C. schools every year, but only $380 for early learning.

      Two more economists weighing in. There are many more around the world who agree infant/toddler daycare and early learning should be funded just like education.

      Click to access EarlyLearningEconomicForum_Fairholm.pdf

      Click to access EarlyLearningEconomicForum_Fortin.pdf

      What is often not understood,is that implementing this plan does not take Billions… It seems many people don’t understand, or know, how the BC plan is being proposed. This link explains it… phased in, so there is not overload on the budget. It would take at least 5 to ten years to fully develop the plan, but it would absolutely pay off in spades – far better than Christy Clarks Job Plan I might add!!

      This is a real “Jobs plan” and an economic stimulator. And you can not dispute that.

      Click to access Community_Plan_ECL.pdf

      From that link:

      Many have asked where government should start implementing the Plan. Recognizing that it will take 5 to
      10 years to fully realize the Plan’s potential, we recommend that a starting place could be an immediate fee
      reduction to $10 a day in all licensed infant and toddler (family & group) programs that embrace the accountability
      requirements.( this would be a cost of approx. $88 million as per gov data. -ly)
      This would create some immediate relief for parents from the highest fees in the province and create a
      groundswell of support for expansion of the public system.

      Simultaneously, government could start with
      five or six demonstration sites, in diverse BC communities, to build infrastructure and protocols for the new
      relationship between Boards of Education and licensed child care services.

      These first steps of implementation
      are affordable for the provincial government

      Here is the thing.

      I believe, the money can be found. They find money for gov advertising. They find money for knock off bollywood awards,among many other wasteful expenditures.Corporate welfare really is the stronghold of this particular government.Look at the expenses… I’ve written about them!

      To implement this would


  1. While I agree with subsidized daycare and I voted for you.. $10 bucks/day seems a tad “generous” Perhaps $15/day? Or even $20? It would be far more palatable to all taxpayers concerned.
    I find if you make people pay a certain amount they wont abuse the “freebie” alloted to them…

    What “issues” with the Quebec system was Kathryn referring to? Is it broke? Is it swamped with applicants?


    1. That is a very good point Nonconfidence,and personally I think a lot of people would be happy with $20 a day daycare…. but there are far more who could barely afford that when working minimum wage or above.

      Say two kids under 5. Single mom working minimum wage, or duel income working minimum wage. Rent, transportation,food, utilities, clothing basics…. its not hard to do the math. AT !0.00 a day per preschool child, that is $100.00 a week, $400.00 a month….


  2. Unfortunately, this present government has not a clue about anything to do with education. Look at the track record of the unelected premier(refuse to put a capital on that) when she was Minister of Education. The damage she did still lingers. At present we have a Hummingbird as a Minister of Education. These people are hopeless. Our greatest resources for the future are our children. Education should be equally assessable to ‘all’ children, not just a lucky chosen few. There are brilliant undiscovered children with unbelievable potential in the lower economic realm, all they need is just a chance to succeed.


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