VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s Liberals are promising to spend $1 billion in early childhood education over the next four years as the party faces a confidence vote in the legislature that is expected to bring down their minority government.
Premier Christy Clark said Wednesday the money would create 60,000 childcare spots in addition to the 13,000 already promised in the last budget.
Families earning up to $60,000 a year would receive full subsidies for care, while families earning up to $100,000 would get partial subsidies, Clark said.
“That means that about 150,000 children will be eligible to get a subsidy to make childcare more affordable for them once their parents have found one of those new spaces,” she said.
Childcare was a key plank in the New Democrat’s campaign platform ahead of last month’s election, with NDP Leader John Horgan promising to create $10-a-day daycare.
Horgan repeated the pledge earlier this month, saying his government would create 22,000 new childcare spaces in the next three years and that number would grow to 66,000 spaces in five years.
The NDP campaign platform promised to bring in childcare with an investment of $175 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year and growing to $400 million by 2019-20. The plan would take 10 years to fully implement.
Clark said the NDP plan won’t move fast enough to meet the needs of parents.
“I think that people need these spaces and they need these subsidies to make it more affordable now. So we’ve got to get started on that right away, not waiting 10 years,” she said.
The legislature is set to reconvene Thursday and it is expected that Clark’s minority government will soon be defeated in a confidence vote, making way for a minority New Democrat government supported by the Green party.
The Canadian Press
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