2018 promises to be a busy year when it comes to child care news from BC. Here’s a comprehensive list of stories, reports, statements, media and press releases related to child care in BC in 2018. If you are aware of additional child care news stories please feel free to add them and they will be considered for inclusion. This listing can only show 25 items at a time so be sure to click the arrow at the bottom of the list to move onto the next page of the listing for more child care news.
There has been a lot of interest, emotion and activity since the BC government announced a plan to move toward universal child care. I have written a post about it for ECEs here. And I also wrote an additional post relating to “opting in” and wages that received many comments and shares. To assist people in tracking everything, I put together this post which has a listing of current information and resources related to the plan.
Over the last week or so I have received a huge amount of feedback, comments and messages about all that’s happening related to child care in BC. And increasingly, I have been involved in an extensive amount of communication, collaboration and information coordination with colleagues around the province related to what this new plan means for everyone who cares about child care.
Quite honestly, there is NO way to describe the level of unrest, distrust, confusion and frustration that I am hearing from across the province. In my 30+ years in the field I have never, ever seen anything like this.
And that says a lot — considering the vast majority of people I am hearing from actually support the concept of universal child care — they quite simply don’t support certain key elements of this plan, how the BC government has been moving forward to implement it or how key ECE organizations have been interacting with the field.
This week, the BC government are hosting a series of conference calls for child care operators to participate in related to the new Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative. Information related to these calls have been sent out directly to each of the programs that are eligible to participate.
More and more questions have been coming up about what this new child care plan means, the changes to funding and how the child care fee reductions will work.
In recent days I have had a number of comments and questions submitted to me related to all of this. Below are just a few examples of what I have received. I am sharing all items with permission. In some cases, I have made minor edits for grammar, spelling etc.
Please note, these questions and comments are NOT being shared to create fear or to cause rumours or speculation — rather I am simply hoping to demonstrate the reality of what people in the field are truly worried about, wondering or trying to better understand right now. And to reinforce the fact that ALL of our voices matter.
From my own interactions on social media over the last week I can tell you that what follows below is quite simply the tip of the iceberg. And while the government may have shared information about many things related to this plan — clearly it has not been enough and the timing related to implementation of everything has simply been too much too fast.
Maybe this week more information will be shared that will help to ease concerns and answer questions more fully.
Questions About the New BC Child Care Plan
These are just some of the questions recently received from people and programs across BC about the new plan. And while YOU might know the answer to some of what is here — the truth is that lots of people don’t know the answers to a great many things. For that reason it is important that we keep talking, asking and attempting to understand.
I have many drop ins and part times sharing spots, how will this effect them? How will a 10% increase is the CCOF balance out to how much I lower my fees.
How does the government decide what a fair rate increase is…based on the daycare’s submitted rates, or based on an average of daycare rates in their community?
Why there needs to be a “control” over what fees we charge? ! What is the overall benefit for me as a daycare owner if I reduce my fees ?! Parents can be subsidies more or less directly (similar to current subsidy program) no need to “force” daycare to reduce fees.
Will this new CCOF funding cover for wages increase?
How will wages get paid under the opt in plan?
How will gov’t generate MORE ECE workers quickly and what are they doing to bring ones that left, back into the field?
Our Center is closed for Christmas break and we have a week vacation on March and one on August, will the CCOF be paying those months in full?
I would like to know why are multi-age daycare (family) CCOF is significantly lower than the group daycare? I still employ two ECE staff with a 1-4 radio, our children and families receive high quality service and attention and I could be receiving rent with a lot less work.
Why couldn’t this be done with more time, why did the advertising came before the new CCOF agreement? This puts daycare providers in a difficult situation as we can’t answer questions as we can make decisions until we have the agreement.
Why are parents of children attending In Home Multi Age programs receiving less funding than those that have children in Group childcare? Though I presume that decision was made based upon how CCOF funding works, I am an ECE and provide stellar developmental opportunities and an incredible learning space for the children in my care. My parents took the time to seek out educated, professional care, but wanted a more home like (vs. school like) environment and so now they are being penalized. How is this fair for my parents considering I have the same education as an ECE working in a group centre and my fees are on par with a group centre, because I value my education and time?
What is the government’s intention in creating spaces for childcare before there are enough qualified ECEs to govern them? How will the shortfall of qualified ECEs be addressed when the disparity becomes even more acute?
Who did the government consult with to ensure that this was a plan that would meet the needs of children, parents and caregivers? Were representatives from all areas of childcare involved in this process (e.g. LNR, IHMA, GMA, Group, etc.)? If not every sector and/or parent group was represented, why not?
How will the fee reduction payments be delivered so that centres receive them in a timely fashion to meet other monetary obligations? Is there consideration for a lagging system (e.g. enrolment and then a month later the parent receives the fee on their next invoice after the centre has received it?)
How will vacations and statutory holidays be addressed in the reduction fee?
If I had announced a fee increase to my parents prior to the reduction fee announcement, but the increase is not to implemented until after April 1st (to give my parents time to plan appropriately), will I still be approved?
Is the government willing to rework this plan so that it better suits the longterm viability of quality childcare (e.g. allocating funding differently, distribution of fee reduction directly to parents rather than through the centres, etc.)
As a multi age daycare with …..all part time, how will I determine the fee reductions – is there a spread sheet being created that will depict the amounts based on the days attended?
Our monthly fees for under 3s are currently less than $1250 – how will this affect my contract with Govt?
Is the Government ultimately trying to phase out FCC and in home multi age childcare? – BIG question.
Is the Govt encouraging FCC and MA in home daycares pay $25 per hour for ECE staff? If so, we need to raise our fees to cover this!
When will the Govt funds be paid to daycare providers?
Why is the Govt making this Fee Reduction available to everyone – should it not be to those who need it most?
Most of my children are 3-5 years and part time – with all this paper work involved – they might be getting $20 per month.
Every daycare unique and their programs differ – some offer snacks, transport to schools, field trips, swimming, skating etc. Spaces are different , leases vary in price depending on location – how can we be locked in at the same rate if we are all different.
Can we opt out mid way of the program?
Is the CCOF going to be eliminated to those who Opt Out?
I have concerns going forward. I am about to remortgage my home in order to purchase the building we currently rent in so that we expand our school age program .
If you would like to submit questions you can do so here. I may share more questions in a future post.
Overall Comments & Feedback
These just some of the comments recently received from people and programs across BC.
Daycare providers and owners are already maxed out with all the paperwork for Licensing required and running a business. The added paper work is going to be significant to everyone who opts in.
I pay my ECE a living wage as I value her skills and want her to retain her – however, a colleague pays her ECE $15 – same set up, multi age, concerned that we are all unique and some daycares pay staff more than others based on what they can afford, depending on program. Worried that if my rates capped – I won’t be able to offer her increase annually.
Too many unique programs in childcare – we cannot all be lumped into one category. Obviously FCC with one provider, might charge less fees than MA with 2 ECE staff and larger centre with 5+ staff. How can one program cover all the daycares that have so many different overheads and programs – we are not all the same and neither should we be. Parents do want choice and not everyone wants a large centre.
The CCOF should be increased to help us pay our staff the $25 per hour
After listening to a webinar today from childcare providers in all facets of care I’m terrified to move forward in expansion with so much uncertainty in our field.
I am furious that the school districts are putting an ECE in every kindy classroom. I cannot compete with paying them $28/hr, pension and union. We will lose our ECE’s.
I saw a post where someone explained it as, the gov’t is going to force centres to run as not for profit.
Any time a plan comes together quickly and with little time to decide, it’s usually not a good plan for the “little guy.”
As an ECE that chose to be in this field because I am very passionate about working with children, I am very concerned about the wage. I started out at $12 an hour over 5 years ago, and now being the lead teacher running a preschool program, I am only making $16. To earn more wages I would have to travel a further distance which would eat up the couple dollar difference in gas and time alone. I have stuck with the field because I know I’m good at my job, and it makes me happy. The reality is that I don’t think I can afford to stay in the field when the cost of living has skyrocketed.
Yes, thank you to all the people like yourself that are doing what you are doing to fight for what is right for everyone. People like yourself, actually doing something about it, wanting to hear from me, makes me feel supported. Thank you!!
If the government put a base rate on ECE’s that the minimum wage was $18/hr to start. Anyone not making that wage, the employee applies to have the government contribute to the wage top up, instead of coming out of parent’s pockets. Then all the finer details could be worked out about how to increase wages, who and how to qualify for higher wages. It shouldn’t be just based on education levels, experience and quality of work should be equal. At least with this wage, ECE’s would be more willing to wait, and not leave the field, creating more problems.
Parents always want to pay less (understandable). Yet running a safe and stimulating facility is costly. I worry that applying for government funding will be time consuming and not the easiest thing to achieve. My job is already time consuming. I am up until midnight most nights cleaning my facility, organizing the next days activities, meal prepping, and keeping my books. I don’t get paid for any of that.
They need to make a plan to make a career in child care look more prestigious. I think that is another reason why people graduating high school may not be choosing to study early childhood education.
So — there are LOTS of questions. And a great many concerns. I am so glad that so many people and programs are speaking out, asking questions and sharing their concerns.
Please don’t stop. It’s SO important that we continue.
And remember — this entire situation is about the future of child care in British Columbia. And it’s essential that everyone and every program is part of that conversation.
After all, we are all in child care together.
PS – Don’t forget – To assist people in tracking everything, I put together this post which has a listing of current information and resources related to the plan.
As we all try to understand more about the new BC child care plan it can be hard to stay on top of what’s being said, shared and released. It’s important that our conversations about what is transpiring are as fact based as possible. While there are still more questions than answers — there are clear attempts to share with parents and providers. Below is a listing of key documents, information, government related contacts and recent media articles. I will try to add more information to this listing as time goes by. If you are aware of other resources that become available please feel free to leave a link in the comments below and I will also add them to this listing as appropriate.
Use the scroll bar on the side of the list to scroll through all items listed.
Let’s be as informed as we can about what is happening.
And let’s do our collective best to support and encourage one another during this time of significant change.
We all matter. Educators, providers, programs, children and families. And we all want the best possible child care system for BC.
Update: It’s important to keep in mind that things are changing quickly for child care in BC. By the time you read this post, some of the questions and issues I have written about may be clearer, we may have further information or answers and circumstances may have evolved. Please keep this in mind. At the end of the post there is a link to a resource listing related to the new child care plan for BC. Regardless; this post conveys much of what many in the field have been feeling, considering and thinking about since the plan was announced. A great many people have contacted me to share their support and thanks for writing this post. It has had a significant amount of visits since it was posted on March 7, 2018 and is currently one of the top ranked blog post on this website.
A few days ago I wrote a post to Early Childhood Educators in BC about the new child care plan that the BC government recently announced. In that post I encouraged ECEs to share their voice about what the plan means to them as individuals and as professionals. I received a lot of feedback on the post and several private messages. Clearly there’s a lot on all of our minds.
This is indeed a time of massive transition in BC when it comes to child care.
Parents have questions.
ECEs have questions.
Child care programs have questions.
In short — there are more questions than answers. And while I’m certain that the good folks working in government and our professional associations are doing their absolute best to try and get information out there as quickly as they can — there are only 24 hours in the day and limited resources.
Increasingly I am feeling that things might be moving a bit too fast.
Now I do understand that during any major change — there will always be more questions than answers. Transitions are messy and even tricky. And often they are especially risky.
Yet — I keep reminding myself that this transition is happening in child care and because of that it must be done with the absolute care and respect that it deserves. After all — a significant number of people impacted by this change are the very ones who are right now working with and caring for our most important assets in BC — our youngest children.
At the very least, ECEs deserve to have as much stress as possible eliminated during this time of change.
In recent days I have been thinking a lot about child care programs — ALL types of child care programs. And I’ve also continued thinking about ECEs.
As the government begins the process of having child care programs “opt-in” for the Child Care Fee Reduction Initiative there are many concerns. And while attempts are clearly being made to answer the questions that programs have there does still seem to be a lot of unknowns.
Perhaps too many.
I’m not sure there is sufficient time to resolve everything that the field is facing before April 2018.
For example there are real concerns about the timing of the payments that government will make to child care programs in order to replace the parent portion of fees.
Many programs are expressing concern that if they sign the new contracts now; they could be facing serious cashflow issues in the coming months. This is due to the fact that the government payment would likely not happen on the 1st of the month. The 1st of the month is typically, when parents pay their fees. A shortage of cashflow could impact the ability of child care programs to pay rent, lease payments or mortgages as well as staff wages on time. That is very concerning.
Child care operators are doing their best to try and support this transition but it’s difficult to do so when the risks of signing on to the initiative appear to have such significant implications.
The mere thought that ECE staff wages could be at risk of being payed late in some programs due to this transition is absolutely unacceptable. I can’t understand how this risk was not mitigated by government well in advance of the child care plan announcement. After all, we clearly know there are MANY issues that we are facing in the child care sector when it comes to attracting and retaining certified staff.
It doesn’t seem wise to put further pressure on ECEs; many of whom are already struggling on a great many levels due to low wages and challenging working conditions.
While I support many aspects of this child care plan — ANYTHING that puts the financial risk of this transition onto the shoulders of child care program operators without sufficient information and a reasonable amount of time to plan is completely unacceptable. And creating the potential for a situation that results in ECE wages possibly having to be paid late in some programs is nothing other than wrong.
Beyond the issues above there are other concerns too.
Many multi-age child care programs have expressed concern about the level of funding they will receive under the fee reduction initiative. I know that there is a lot of discussion happening related to this and the concerns raised certainly seem reasonable.
Then there is the overall issue of child care programs feeling a loss of control related to being able to raise their fees in the future. While I totally understand the need to eliminate the chance of child care programs significantly increasing their fees after signing on to the initiative; it does seem as though there are more flexible ways to address this.
Many child care programs feel they are at risk of losing control of the future of their programs under this new plan. I understand and empathize with their concerns.
While government representatives are expressing an interest in working with all types of child care my sense is that there is a bias toward certain types of child care operators — not for profit rather than private. And while this “might be the right solution” to build a long term universal program it does pose significant challenges and concerns too.
I understand that universal child care is something that we want to establish in BC and that it’s important for children, families, educators and for the good of our economy. However, we must go through this process in a way that doesn’t put well established and respected quality child care programs and services at serious risk.
We need many types of child care in BC. Owner-operator programs, multi-age child care and family child care providers offer truly valuable services in our communities across BC. If we lose many of these programs as result of this new child care plan that is not what is best for child care in BC. And if that is what is coming — well — I will no longer have any level of support for how this child care plan has been put together.
Yes we do need a child care plan for BC. And we need universal child care.
But we need the right plan — one that properly incorporates a range of quality child care options, pays ECEs well, that is universally accessible & affordable and that reduces risk. That is essential. Anything less simply won’t work.
Just today I have heard of multiple areas where programs are considering not “opting-in” at this time. I have also heard of programs that are considering closing due to the uncertainly and risk related to this time of change. And I know of ECEs who are worried about their jobs, their pay cheques in April and their future in the field.
All of this tells us how child care programs and ECEs are feeling right now. And it worries me.
Additionally, while I will write more about this in future posts — I simply must make further mention of the issue of ECE wages.
The following is an excerpt from the child care plan:
“Early Childhood Educators are critical to the quality of care and learning in licensed facilities. Budget 2018 provides $136 million over three years to enhance quality of care, including important new supports for training and development, as well as a workforce development strategy. Working with our partners in child care, we will establish the human resource strategies needed to attract and retain skilled and experienced early learning and child care workers, including consideration of appropriate remuneration.”
Of course I understand why it’s important to complete a workforce development strategy — more information is certainly needed and having a long term strategy is indeed smart thinking.
But — we have a significant issue RIGHT NOW when it comes to attracting and retaining staff to work in child care programs. Releasing this plan without directly mentioning ECE wages has a lot of ECEs feeling very let down and more than a little uneasy.
Let’s face it — many ECEs in the field are tired, on the verge of burnout or are ready to leave the field entirely. Lots have been just hanging on in the hopes that something good was coming. Plus there is also the reality that many gave up and left the field ages ago.
We are a profession and a field this is facing more than chaos. Programs are actively trying to survive a critical crisis daily when it comes to staffing and staff wages. And it’s more than a little hard. It’s on the verge of impossible.
While I understand that there will be efforts made to address the issues of staffing and renumeration in the future — quite frankly “consideration of appropriate remuneration” doesn’t actually give me tremendous confidence that solid solutions are coming quickly.
I know I’m not alone in my concerns related to ECE wages. Many ECEs have told me the same thing.
If ECEs are indeed the backbone of child care — then we deserve to be provided with clear information about what the government is going to do to address ECE wages. Wage enhancements are essential. Sooner rather than later.
Yes – the $136 million that government has mentioned is a lot of money — BUT — what does that really mean when it comes to actual ECE staff wages? How does it translate across the province? We need to know much more about this as soon as possible.
So — as you can tell, I continue to feel mixed emotions about what’s unfolding for child care in BC.
Today I am on the higher side of caution than optimism.
My hope is that the benefits of this new child care plan will eventually far exceed the risks, concerns and fears that so many of us are currently facing and feeling.
These are just a few of the things going through my mind right now. I’m sure you have thoughts on your mind too. I’d love to know what your thinking related to all of this. Please click here to go to a form where you can share your thoughts with me. I may use some of what you share with me in future posts that I write — but I won’t identify any names or programs who share their thoughts with me.
The child care plan for BC has the potential to be positive. Quality child care that is affordable and accessible matters, however the road to universal child care is already more than a little bumpy and still feels very, very long. That’s pretty hard when our collective fuel gauge has been flashing “empty” for decades and we can barely afford to stop for coffee let alone a new tank of gas.
I want the best for ECEs, child care programs, children, families and communities. I’m sure you do to.
Please keep on speaking up and out about the new child care plan for BC.
Together we will get through all of this – one way or the other.
Edit: Since writing this post I have also written an additional post which contains a list of resources related to the new BC child care plan. You can find it here.
Dear BC Early Childhood Educators,
As you are no doubt aware the BC government recently made a historic announcement that puts our province on the path toward universal child care. While the BC child care plan is indeed a positive step and a significant milestone, there are also many reasons I find myself feeling both cautious and somewhat concerned about what’s coming for child care in BC. And I know I’m not alone in my thinking.
For days we’ve been hearing just how important it is for us as Early Childhood Educators to ask questions, to share our thinking and to speak out about the things that concern us related to the new BC child care plan. I plan to do exactly that — and I hope you will too.
All of that said, while the new BC child care plan and what it means matters — there’s actually something that matters even more to me:
As someone who has been involved in the field of Early Childhood Education in BC since I was 13 years old — and who turned 50 this past summer — I’ve been around long enough to know just how historic this child care plan really is. And to also know just how fragmented our field has become.
In ECE, we often talk about sharing our voices and about the value of working together. Additionally, we also talk about ensuring that we hear one another and the importance of respecting varied opinions and perspectives. And while I generally believe this to be true about the culture of our field, I do know that there are still many ECEs in BC who don’t feel heard or equally valued by colleagues from within our very own field. I say this not as a criticism but as an observation. And because it has been representative of my own experience on more than a few occasions over the years. While there are a multitude of reasons why this is so it doesn’t make it right — or easier for those who feel unheard or less than valued.
I am ever so hopeful that the new BC child care plan will afford us the opportunity to not only strengthen wages for Early Childhood Educators but also the ways we understand each other and work together — no matter our role or the day to day work we do within the field.
Now — more than ever — it is essential that we do everything we can to understand, hear and value one another as professionals. All of us. Together.
We need each other — no matter what type of child care we work in, what our role is or how long we have worked in the field. Every educator matters.
And so it’s for those exact reasons that I want to emphasize just how important you are as an individual and as an Early Childhood Educator — or future ECE. And how much your voice matters. I’m well positioned to tell you these things because it took me almost leaving the ECE field to discover just how much my own voice mattered AND for me to decide to stop being quiet. In making that decision, I also came to understand how I could support and encourage other Early Childhood Educators to find and share their voices too. So believe me when I say this:
You matter. You are valued. Your opinions are important. And your voice is essential.
Most importantly . . . we need YOU in ECE.
You offer experience and expertise that is unique to the very person you are. Nobody can replace that.
All of this matters — because you matter.
So hold onto this thought — the voice of every single Early Childhood Educator matters. We need you to ask questions and to share your thinking about what this new child care plan means for you, for your program, for the children and families you work with and for your community.
I believe in who you are as an Early Childhood Educator and encourage you to use your voice and your experience to let key decision makers in government, advocates and our professional associations know what works AND what doesn’t work about this new child care plan. Speak up and speak out about the things you feel are important for our field and about this move toward universal child care.
While I can’t promise you will always feel heard or completely valued by everyone you encounter during your ECE career — I will always do my best to make sure you understand that nobody but YOU determines the value of what you say or contribute to the field. Nobody.
Don’t ever let anyone make you doubt for a second how essential you are and how much your voice matters.
So — please read the child care plan, participate in information meetings and then express your thoughts to the government, ECEBC, the Minister of State for Child Care, your local CCRR or your local MLA. And don’t forget that you you can also express your thoughts on social media — in word, audio and video. Just know — your voice is essential. And nobody — and NO organization – can replace the power of what you have to say. Write emails, make phone calls, post content and have conversations about the things that you love or are concerned about related to this new plan.
And if after reading all of this you find yourself feeling stuck, hesitant, nervous or simply not knowing how to organize your thoughts about what’s happening feel free to contact me and I will be delighted to chat with you and help you figure out the best approach to sharing your thoughts and your voice.
Remember — you matter. And so does your voice and what you think about this new BC child care plan.
A list of resources to support the online professional development ECE Workshop – Supporting and Working with Children with Exceptional Needs.
In October 2017, 37 Early Childhood Educators gathered for The Reflect & Recharge ECE Retreat in Tsawwassen, BC.
Together they had 648 years ‘ of experience in the field.
We asked them what one piece of advice they would have for a fellow Early Childhood Educator. Here’s what a few of them had to say.
Ask an ECE #1 – The Voices of 648 Year’s #ECE Experience
One Piece of Advice for Early Childhood Educators from BC ECEs.
Our next ECE Retreat will be held May 26 & 27, 2018 in the training rooms of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers in Burnaby, BC. It is being hosted by the rbKids Child Care Program.
Supported Child Development Programs play an important role in supporting children with exceptionalities who may require additional services and supports in preschool and child care programs in British Columbia. Below is a listing of examples of Supported Child Care Programs that are located in several different areas of BC. Click through on the list to find out more about what each program offers and the areas that they provide services.
Recently we prepared a listing of resource materials related the topic of “Red Flags” and early intervention.
As an extension of The Reflect & Recharge ECE Retreat, ECE Workshops is delighted to be hosting:
ECE Saturday Evening of Creativity & Connection on October 21, 2017 at The Cammidge House in Tsawwassen, BC.
The Cammidge House is located in Metro Vancouver’s Boundary Bay Park. The address is 498 Boundary Bay Road, Delta, BC. Parking is available onsite. The ECE Saturday, October 21, 2017
This gathering is designed to be an evening of creativity, reflection and connection related to early learning & care plus there will also be a casual dinner. This event is open to retreat attendees as well as people who are not registered in the retreat.
The ECE Saturday Evening of Creativity & Connection includes:
An opportunity to connect and network with colleagues and professionals working in the field of Early Childhood Education plus attendees and speakers who are part of The Reflect & Recharge Retreat.
Activities related to creativity, reflection and connection in the field. Attendees who complete and submit 4 of the interactive activities will receive a 1 hour professional development certificate via email after the event.
A casual dinner which will include a selection of healthy food choices.
5:30 PM to 9:30 PM
5:30 to 6:30 PM – Appetizers, Conversation & Connection
6:30 – 7:00 PM Welcome, Introductions and Overview of Interactive Activities Available During The Evening
7:00 – 8:30 PM Casual Dinner Available via Buffet
7:00 to 9:30 Interactive Creative, Reflective & Connection Activities Available for ECE’s to Participate In.