Premier Christy Clark yesterday elaborated on her plan to invest $76 million on child care during the next three years – a proposal mentioned in the February 19 budget.
The money will include:
· $32 million to help create new child-care spaces;
· $37 million to improve the overall quality of early years services; and
· $7 million to strengthen and co-ordinate early childhood development programs and child-care services.
The spending will be in the first three years of an eight-year strategy that Clark has dubbed the B.C. Early Years Strategy.
As part of the strategy, a new tax benefit plan will provide $146 million to approximately 180,000 families who have children under the age of six.
The program is not set to start until 2015, when eligible families with net incomes under $100,000 will receive the maximum refundable tax credit of $55 a month or $660 a year per child.
The money supports Clark’s assertions since running for Liberal leader that she has a “families first” agenda. The funding will only pay for a small fraction of day-care costs, however, given that those costs tend to be approximately $1,000 per month.
The spending is notable, however, given that the Liberals tabled a balanced budget this week with little new spending.
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