81% of parents who use child care say that the cost puts a financial strain on their family
Child care is the second-highest cost in the Metro Vancouver living wage calculation after housing. In the Fraser Valley living wage calculation, child care outpaces housing as the number-one expense. For many low-wage families, quality and affordable child care is just not something that they are able to afford. Many have no option but to leave the workforce or to use unregulated care.
The $10aDay plan would reduce the Metro Vancouver living wage by $4.12 per hour. Child care is a significant cost for families.
The median wage for early childhood educators is 19% lower than that of BC workers. Most child care workers are not earning a living wage.
What would a solution look like?
The $10aDay campaign has proposed a solution that works for all families including the families of child care workers. The plan:
- Would cap parent fees at $10 per day for full-time, $7 per day for part-time, and no user fee for families with an annual income of less than $40,000
- Pay a living wage for child care workers
- Include all children of all abilities, including those with extra support needs
- Provide play-based programs that are consistent with the BC Early Learning Framework or Aboriginal frameworks
Can we afford it?
- Quebec’s child care system returns $1.05 to its government for every $1 invested – and Ottawa recovers 44 cents, even with no direct investment. The returns continue to grow.
- Phasing a universal child care plan in over 10 years would allow for families to see immediate relief from high fees while allowing the government to scale up the plan (and costs) in stages.
- Once the plan is fully phased in, it would generate an estimated $1.3 billion in revenues to the provincial and federal governments. This would be from the boost in economic activity from parents who are able to return to work once lower fees and increased child care spaces allow them to enter the workforce.
Together we can make an impact
Join the over 80 Living Wage Employers across BC in addressing poverty in your community.
If you have any questions about the process, don’t hesitate to be in touch by phone (604-975-3347) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The living wage is a regional calculation that looks at the amount that a family of four, two adults working full year, full time, need to earn to meet their expenses. The living wage allows working families to support the healthy development of their children and participate in the social, civic and cultural lives of their communities.
A living wage employer pays all direct and contract staff the living wage rate for their region.
Step 1: Determine the living wage in your region
You can see a map of the BC communities that have calculated a living wage rate. If your office is located outside of British Columbia, please visit Living Wage Canada to find the living wage for your region. If you don’t see your community listed on the map or if you have any questions email us at email@example.com. We can help!
To calculate the living wage rate for each employer we take into account their employees’ total compensation package (wage + benefits). If employees receive non-mandatory benefits like extended health benefits or Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage, the living wage rate is reduced to take this into account. See our benefits calculator for details.
Step 2: Make a plan
A clear, stepped implementation plan is essential. Download and read through A Guide to Becoming a Living Wage Employer (PDF). The handbook offers step-by-step information for large and small employers. If you are a small employer with under 15 staff we have a form (PDF) that walks you through the steps of an implementation plan.
Call us (604-975-3347) in the initial stages to answer any questions you might have. Any conversation we have is confidential and we won’t rush you through the process.
Step 3: Apply for certification
Once you have submitted your living wage plan, it will be reviewed by a committee of employers. This committee will approve your plan or ask for more information to strengthen your application. This process is to help you have as strong an implementation plan as possible.
- Living Wage Employers pay all direct and contract staff the living wage rate for their region.
- Living Wage Employers recognize that paying a living wage is an investment in the long-term prosperity of the economy.
- We all have a role to play in ending poverty. The minimum wage is a government response to address working poverty. The living wage is an employer’s opportunity to address the same problem.
Paying a living wage
The living wage is a bare-bones calculation that looks at the amount that a family of four needs to earn to meet their expenses. The living wage includes costs like rent and groceries as well as items like extended health care and two weeks savings for each adult. It does not include debt repayment or savings for future plans.
To calculate the living wage rate, employers take into account their employees’ total wage plus benefits. If employees receive non-mandatory benefits, the living wage rate is reduced. See our benefits calculator for details.
Read through A guide to becoming a Living Wage Employer. The handbook offers step-by-step information for large and small employers.
What are the benefits of a living wage?
Good for employers
Employers have found that implementing a living wage has increased their employee recruitment and retention. Vancity saw that the most significant impact was the swelling of pride in all staff after implementing a living wage. Staff at Living Wage Employers are proud to contribute to a company that ensures that no one is left behind.
"A living wage supports our organization's mission to promote equality, fairness and social inclusion." - BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Good for our community
We all pay for poverty in our communities. We pay in increased use of emergency health services when individuals aren’t able to afford to fill prescriptions. Our education system is stretched when parents aren’t able to support their children’s education because they are working multiple jobs. Investing in a living wage is investing in the health of our communities.
Good for the economy
When low-wage workers see an increase in their wages they spend their money locally. A living wage allows families to participate in the social, civic and cultural lives of their communities. They support local business and participate in community events. We all benefit when we reduce poverty in our communities.
I am hungry today. The first few days I seemed to be doing OK. I even gave my “extra” food to my partner who has been really struggling with getting enough to eat. That didn’t happen today. I have been forgetful and very emotional. I am starting to get hesitant about leaving the house and I definitely haven’t been walking as much as I normally do.Read more
Did you know that the Downtown Eastside far outstrips the rest of Vancouver in its rates of volunteerism and that BC is the most generous province in terms of how much we give to charitable organizations? It is clear that all of our communities have gifts to offer.Read more
More than 170,000 people in BC struggle to make ends meet on welfare. Living wage campaign organizer Deanna Ogle, along with her partner Earyn Wheatley, explore the connections between the living wage, poverty, climate change, food security and welfare while participating in the 4th annual Welfare Food Challenge November 3 to 9, 2015. The two will only eat the food they can each buy with $21.Read more