So…the word today is that letters are starting to arrive from Minister Reid at child care centres in BC who offer infant and toddler care programs. The news is that the reduction to funding effective July 1, 2007 via the Child Care Operating Funding Program will not be as much as was originally announced for infant-toddler programs. I’m sure more details will emerge in the coming days…anyone have any news to share on this?
The B.C. Chamber of Commerce unanimously passed a child care resolution brought forward by the Trail and District and Prince George chapters at the organization’s annual meeting. The introduction to the resolution begins with a historic (for business) recognition that:
“Quality child care is no longer just a social issue; the business community of B.C. now views child care as one of the key factors in addressing the labour shortage in B.C. The ability to recruit and retain workers in all industry sectors is underpinned with a worker’s ability to secure quality child care that meets their needs,” the resolution says.
“A comprehensive strategic plan for the child care system in B.C. is critical to staying competitive in today’s global economy.”
On June 1, 2007 the following press release was released. I am not totally sure where the release came from as it was just forwarded to me like this, however I think it is safe to assume that it probably came from the New Democrat Childcare Critic Claire Trevena’s office.
For Immediate Release
June 1, 2006
MILLIONS OF CHILDCARE DOLLARS TO BE HANDED OUT WITH LITTLE
ACCOUNTABILITY, TREVENA DISCOVERS
VICTORIA – Minister of State for Childcare Linda Reid plans to dodge her
responsibility by getting a non-governmental agency to hand out $20
million in one-time funding, New Democrat Childcare Critic Claire
Trevena said today.
“The Minister is ducking responsibility for disbursing millions of
dollars in funding, and this raises some serious questions about
transparency and accountability”, said Trevena, the MLA for North
Island. “This is just another example of the Minister’s complete
mismanagement of the childcare portfolio.”
Under questioning from Trevena during budget estimates on Wednesday,
Minister Reid revealed that the B.C. Council for the Family will be
managing $20 million in funding from the Ministry of Children and Family
Development. This comes after the Ministry earlier this year handed out
$20 million in one-time funding for childcare providers, with the caveat
that the money be spent on equipment and be expended before the end of
the calendar year.
“If I hadn’t pushed the Minister on this issue during budget estimates
debates, who knows when we would have found out? The Minister certainly
didn’t tell childcare providers about this decision, and she wasn’t able
to provide me with any information about how the money will be
distributed,” said Trevena. “Childcare providers have been told so many
different things by this Minister, it’s no wonder that they are at their
The Minister of State for Childcare wrote a letter to childcare
providers on May 15 outlining the $20 million in funding, but did not
mention that the money would be distributed through a non-governmental
— 30 —
The release was forwarded to me by a fellow colleague from the child care community and I was intrigued. You see for some time now I (like many others) have been wondering what happened to the last remaining amounts of the “old” Federal child care money in BC. I decided to do a bit of digging and found the question and answer period that the release was referring to. Thank goodness for the Hansard online!
Well if you read here from pages 47 to 64 you will learn a lot about what has gone on with the Federal child care dollars. In addition, Minister Reid answers many other questions related to the recent cutbacks in child care. While it is not exactly super exciting reading, it is certainly enlightening. It would appear that there are still some announcements to come for child care spending in BC. See section 1555 of the discussion to learn more.
Stay tuned…it seems that all of the “old” Federal money has not yet been announced on child care in BC. According to Minister Reid it has been allocated (and spent) but just not yet announced…don’t you just love politics? I would really like to know what the delay is in making these announcements…
The Ministry of Education in BC have recently launched a new policy for the StrongStart BC Centres that are being developed in many schools throughout the Province.
The purpose of StrongStart Centres is to provide school-based, high quality early learning programs for children younger than school age accompanied by a parent or caregiver, designed to support the success of students when they enter Kindergarten.
Further information on this new policy can be found at: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/policy/policies/strong_start.htm
Here is some information that recently came out from the Ministry of Education in British Columbia…
The Ministry of Education is developing an Early Learning Framework for preschool aged children in British Columbia. The framework sets out to describe, in broad terms, a vision, principles, and areas of learning for children from birth to five years of age.
A copy of the draft document is now posted on the Ministry of Education’s website. The website also includes a response form intended to stimulate further dialogue.
The document will be posted from May 1- May 31, 2007 and can be found HERE
The Response Form has been posted on the Early Learning Initiatives page HERE. Feedback is due by June 1, 2007
The input of your organization is valued and plays an important role in helping the Ministry make decision and further refine the Early Learning Framework. We trust your organization will review the framework and provide us with your ideas and comments using the response form.
We encourage you to share this e-mail and information with parents, communities, members and partners.
Child Care Exchange Magazine is running a web based fee survey on the cost of fulltime child care for babies to school age children. Here is the info from the article:
For the past decade Exchange has been conducting bi-annual surveys on fees charged throughout the continent for children of different ages. The last survey, conducted in the spring of 2005, found that fees varied dramatically not only by age of children served, but also by regions — no surprises here! For example, on average, fees for 4-year-olds were 7% lower than fees for 2-year-olds; fees for 2-year-olds were 37% lower in the South than in New England; and fees for 4-year-olds were 30% lower in the Southwest than in the Mid-Atlantic.
Over the decade there has also been a steady increase in fees across the board. However, the increases have generally been modest, well below the increase in the cost of living index.
We need everyone’s help to conduct a robust survey of fees in the USA and Canada in 2007. Please go to the Exchange Insta Poll and share with us the typical fees in your community.
Surprise, suprise…the federal report on the child care spaces initiative was released today. This is a report that many thought would never see the light of day!
The Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Government of Canada’s Child Care Spaces Initiative report entitled, “Child Care Space Recommendations – Supporting Canadian Children and Families: Addressing the Gap Between the Supply and Demand for High Quality Child Care” was released today.
I’d be interested in people’s thoughts on this report. Please post your comments below. Thanks.
Are you looking for information, research and links on Canadian social issues? If so, I suggest you visit this site. The Canadian Social Research Links webpage has got to be one of the most comprehensive sites available. It is updated on a regular basis and also offers an email newsletter subscription for free. Check it out.
Here is the text from the Federal 2007 Budget webpage regarding child care:
Supporting the Creation of New Child Care Spaces
In Budget 2006, Canada’s New Government introduced the Universal Child Care Plan, a two-pronged strategy to provide support for families with children. In July 2006, parents began receiving support of $100 per month for every child under age 6, to be used for the priorities identified by parents as they determine how best to balance home, work and other commitments. Recognizing that parents often choose to use child care services, the Government also committed to provide $250 million annually to support the creation of up to 25,000 new spaces beginning in 2007–08.
Building on consultations with other governments and service providers, the Government is delivering on this commitment in Budget 2007.
Budget 2007 proposes to provide a 25-per-cent investment tax credit to businesses that create new child care spaces in the workplace to a maximum of $10,000 per space created. It also proposes to provide annual additional funding of $250 million to provinces and territories to support the creation of child care spaces that are responsive to the needs of parents, and are administered in an efficient and accountable manner. This funding will continue to grow over time as a result of the annual 3-per-cent escalator that is part of the renewed CST.
Funding will flow through the CST, beginning in 2008–09, upon completion of discussions with provinces and territories on how best to make use of those new investments and to ensure reporting and accountability to Canadians. While these discussions are ongoing and to fully honour the commitment made in Budget 2006, Budget 2007 provides a transition payment to provinces and territories of $250 million for 2007–08 to support the child care spaces objective, allocated on an equal per capita basis.
Moreover, Budget 2007 announces the extension of existing funding of $850 million, provided within the CST in support of federal-provincial-territorial arrangements established in 2000 and 2003 for early childhood development and early learning and child care. These federal funding arrangements will be extended to 2013–14.
These actions will increase support for children through the CST to $1.1 billion in 2008–09. This support will grow to almost $1.3 billion by 2013–14.
This transfer to provinces and territories is only one way that the federal government provides support for children.
|Federal Support for Early Learning and Child Care The Government of Canada will provide nearly $5.6 billion in 2007–08 in support of early learning and child care through transfers, direct spending and tax measures:
Budget 2007 proposes to introduce a tax credit to encourage businesses to create licensed child care spaces for the children of their employees and, potentially, for children in the surrounding community. The tax credit, which will be delivered as part of the existing investment tax credit provisions, will be available to eligible businesses that create one or more new child care spaces in a new or existing licensed child care facility.
The measure will provide eligible taxpayers with a non-refundable investment tax credit equal to 25 per cent of eligible expenditures, to a maximum credit of $10,000 per child care space created. Taxpayers eligible for this new credit will be those that carry on a business in Canada. Further, the provision of child care spaces must be ancillary to one or more businesses of the taxpayer that do not include the provision of such spaces.
Eligible expenditures will include the cost of depreciable property (other than specified property) and the amount of specified start-up costs, acquired or incurred solely for the purpose of the creation of the new child care space at a licensed child care facility.
Eligible depreciable property will include the cost or incremental cost of the building or portion of the building in which the child care facility is located, as well as the cost of furniture, appliances, computer equipment, audio-visual equipment, playground structures and playground equipment. The specified start-up costs will include initial start-up costs such as landscaping costs for the children’s playground, architect’s fees, costs of initial regulatory inspections, initial licensing fees, building permit costs and costs to acquire children’s educational material.
Eligible expenditures will not include specified property. Specified property will include motor vehicles and property that is, or is located in or is attached to, a residence of the employer, of an employee of the employer, of a person who holds an interest in the employer, or of any person related to the employer. The credit will not be available for any of the ongoing or operating expenses of the child care facility such as supplies, wages, salaries, utilities, etc.
Unused credits may be carried back 3 years and forward 20 years by eligible taxpayers to reduce federal income taxes otherwise payable in those years. All or part of the credit arising in respect of the cost of the acquired property upon which a taxpayer’s credit is computed will be recaptured in certain circumstances. The credit will be recovered against the investment tax credit balance if, at any time within the five calendar years after the creation of the new child care space, the new child care space ceases to be available or property that was an eligible expenditure in respect of the child care space is sold, or leased, to another person or is converted to another use.
The amount to be recaptured will be 25 per cent of the lesser of
· the eligible expenditure that was taken into account in determining the credit, and
· the proceeds of disposition of the eligible property or, if the eligible property is disposed of to a related party, the fair market value of the property at the time of the disposition.
If the application of the recapture rule results in an investment tax credit balance at the end of a taxation year being less than zero, the taxpayer will be required to add the negative balance to tax payable.
The tax credit will be available in respect of eligible expenditures that are incurred on or after March 19, 2007.
Investment Tax Credit for Child Care Spaces
(39) That, for taxation years that end on or after March 19, 2007, a taxpayer carrying on a business in Canada, other than a business that is the provision of child care services, be allowed to add, in computing its investment tax credit at the end of the taxation year, an amount incurred on or after March 19, 2007 in respect of the creation of each new child care space in a licensed child care facility, equal to the lesser of $10,000 and 25 per cent of the taxpayer’s eligible expenditures in respect of the child care space.
(40) That, for the purpose of paragraph (39),
(a) an eligible expenditure be an expenditure, incurred for the sole purpose of the creation of the new child care space in a licensed child care facility operated for the benefit of children of the employees of the taxpayer, or of children of the employees and other children, that is
(i) incurred to acquire depreciable property of a prescribed class (other than a specified property), or
(ii) a specified child care start-up cost;
(b) a specified property be a property that is a motor vehicle or a property that is, or is located in or attached to, a residence of
(i) the taxpayer,
(ii) an employee of the taxpayer,
(iii) a person who holds an interest in the taxpayer, or
(iv) a person related to a person referred to in any of clauses (i) to (iii); and
(c) a specified child care start-up cost be the cost (other than the cost of a property included in clause (a)(i)) of
(i) landscaping to create an outdoor play area for children,
(ii) initial fees for licensing, regulatory and building permits,
(iii) architectural fees for designing the child care facility, and
(iv) children’s educational material.
(41) That, if in a specified taxation year in respect of a property the cost of which included one or more eligible expenditures of a taxpayer in respect of a child care space, the taxpayer disposes of the property, or the child care space ceases to be available, there be added to the taxpayer’s tax otherwise payable under Part I of the Act for the specified taxation year, an amount that is 25 per cent of the lesser of
(a) that portion of the cost of the property that was an eligible expenditure that was taken into account in computing the investment tax credit; and
(b) the amount that is
(i) if the property is disposed of to a person with whom the taxpayer deals at arm’s length, the proceeds of disposition of the property, and
(ii) in any other case, the fair market value of the property.
(42) That, for the purposes of paragraph (41),
(a) a disposition of a property include a lease of the property by the taxpayer, or a change of use of the property to a non-specified use (being any use other than the provision of child care services); and
(b) a specified taxation year in respect of a property be a taxation year that ends on or before the day that is 60 months after the day on which the taxpayer acquired the property.