BC NDP childcare plan threatening more than 8,100 spaces

CHILLIWACK (July 17, 2018) – The BC NDP’s childcare plan will lead to a drastic loss of childcare spaces in British Columbia says Laurie Throness, childcare critic for the Official Opposition.

Preliminary results of a survey he sent to all licensed childcare providers in the province show that at least 8,138 childcare spaces will disappear if government continues on its current course.

“We need more childcare spaces in British Columbia but since taking office one year ago, the NDP’s so-called childcare plan is having the opposite effect,” says Throness. “While doing nothing about the crying shortage of early childhood educators, the NDP have turned against market-based providers who represent about 80 per cent of providers in B.C. By micro-managing their budgets and favouring non-profit providers, market-based providers are heading for the exit doors.

“The NDP needs to alter its plan and apologize to childcare operators before these 8,138 childcare spaces are permanently lost and all these families are left scrambling for care.”

Throness sent the survey out to 3,377 licensed child care providers in B.C. using a publicly-available list. He had a high 39 per cent response rate; thirty-three percent were non-profit operators, and 66 per cent market-based.

“I’m also saddened to learn that of the 70 per cent of respondents who have opted into the government’s plan so far, 49 per cent felt it was coercive,” adds Throness. “What’s more, 52 per cent of respondents say they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the level of consultation before the plan was announced.

“These figures provide further evidence that the NDP has rushed and bungled this childcare initiative, to the detriment of operators and the families they serve throughout British Columbia.”

The closure figure of 8,138 is based on survey responses. At a response rate of 39 per cent, the number of actual daycare space closures could be much higher.

There were a number of other insights contained in Part I of the survey released today. Throness is now analyzing the hundreds of written comments that respondents included with their surveys, and plans to release details of that valuable feedback at a later date.

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