Bulletin – Public child care is best for workers

In its efforts to address the province-wide shortage of affordable and accessible child care, the provincial government today announced a $2/hour increase to the wage enhancement for private sector early childhood educators (ECE). This increase will bring the private-sector ECE wage enhancement up to $6/hour effective December 1, 2023. The public-sector ECE wage enhancement will remain at $4/hour.

The Ministry of Education and Child Care has told CUPE this subsidy is needed in part because private sector ECE’s make significantly less than those working in the public child care system.

All child care workers in B.C. of course deserve a fair living wage, health benefits and retirement security – public or private sector. But CUPE well knows that the best way to achieve this for workers is with strong properly funded public child care.

Thanks to the work of CUPE members through the CUPE BC public child care campaign, B.C. has recently made great strides in public child care that have benefited families and CUPE members across the province.

CUPE advocacy has been crucial to the launch of 24 seamless child care pilot projects across B.C. The Delta School District’s pilot project, staffed by members of CUPE 1091, was so successful it was expanded to provide even more child care spots in Delta schools.

CUPE’s advocacy was pivotal to the opening of the Nakusp Early Learning Childcare Centre – a new public child care centre staffed by School District 10 workers – members of CUPE 2450. This centre, opened in June 2023, now offers over 80 child care spots all staffed by CUPE members.

And this September, thanks to the efforts of CUPE 723 and the support of the CUPE BC child care campaign, Campbell River SD 72 launched a before- and after-school care program and is building six new public child care centres, providing hundreds of new child care spots staffed by CUPE 723 education assistants – many of whom are now working full-time hours with before- and after-school work.

These are just a few of our most recent successes. We know more successes are possible.

CUPE will continue to advocate for more public child care spaces for B.C. families, and to rise up more B.C. child care workers through a strong publicly funded child care system.

Please take a moment to visit seamlesschildcarenow.ca and send this message to your MLA calling for more public child care.