Child Care and Early Learning Critical to Healthy Development
Child care and early education is a critical component to a healthy British Columbian society, and it is currently in crisis and needs public commitment and political will to address it.
The $10 Plan is a 10 year strategy to do this.
WHAT ABOUT THE COST?
On February 17, 2015, Finance Minister Mike De Jong announced a budget surplus for 2014/15 to hit $879 million "nearly double earlier forecasts". This surplus would cover implementation of the Plan.
A 10 year implementation means all the funds will not be required up front. As we invest more we get immediate returns to government from increased income tax and sales tax.
Parents who are not spending $1750 each month (average for 2 children under 5 in Campbell River - State of the Child Report, Campbell River 2014) on child care have dollars to contribute in sales and other taxes to their local and provincial economies.
The experience of the Quebec plan has demonstrated what we can expect from our investment. Significant returns were realized in Quebec within two years of implementation. After 12 years, it is paying for itself! Economists predict B.C. would see returns after the first year and follow Quebec's model.
Quebec's program helped 70,000 women with young children - who, without child care, would not be working - to enter the labour force, a 3.8% increase in women's employment overall.
The ripple effect of mother's employment contributed an additional $5.2 billion to the provincial economy and increased Quebec's GDP by 1.7%.
The impact of working mother's increased purchasing power and taxes paid, along with reduced social transfers, means that for every dollar Quebec invests in its child care system:
· Quebec recovers $1.05, which more than pays for its 1.6 billion annual investment; and
· Ottawa recovers 44 cents - for an additional $700 million in revenue - without having made any investment
o The OECD ranks Canada last in its investments in child care for children under 6 years old.
o UNICEF ranks Canada last among OECD countries for investing in families with children under 6 years.
o Child care fees represent the second highest family expense (after housing).
o The cost of regulated child care services reduces family income by more than taxes.
o The savings of implementing a plan for caring for our children and families have been calculated at up to $17 for every $1 spent. These savings represent tax dollars NOT spent over a lifetime of increased health, legal, and social costs, but costs in lost human potential are hard to calculate.
The early care and learning community of Campbell River believes passionately that support for the early years is a priority for achieving quality of life for everyone in our community. We ask the City of Campbell River to join us.