Join the call for quality, affordable child care
The $10aDay plan is on its way!
Child care is regularly either the first or second biggest expense families face according to our living wage calculations. 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 Living Wage for Families Campaign supports the $10aDay child care plan for BC. Initially introduced in 2011, the $10aDay plan has been updated to reflect current realities and government policies. We're on our way, but there's much more to be done to achieve affordable, accessible child care options for all BC families.
The $10aDay Plan charts the way to build the system and make quality affordable services the common daily experience for children and families across British Columbia. The Plan has the support of 65 local governments, 34 school districts, community organizations, unions, businesses and individuals representing more than 2 million British Columbians.
The Plan builds on well-established evidence
An ever-expanding body of research clearly demonstrates that:
- Public spending on the early years is a wise social and economic investment.
- Quality child care is early learning.
- High quality early years programs promote healthy development.
- Children and families need, and have a right to, quality early care and learning.
- Sound public policy builds universal systems that meet the diverse needs of today’s families.
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.
Apply for Living Wage certification
If you are already a Living Wage Employer and wish to recertify, please submit your recertification information using this form.
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.
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 you don’t see your community listed on the map or if you have any questions email us at [email protected]. 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, the living wage rate is reduced to take this into account. We have developed a calculator to work out the value of your benefits.
Step 2: Make a plan
A clear plan to bring your staff up to the Living Wage essential. Our Guide to Becoming a Living Wage Employer provides information on the criteria for certification and other information employers need to know.
Step 3: Apply for certification
- If you are a small employer with under 50 staff, and based in one Living Wage region you can fill out this application form
- If you are a large employer (50 or more staff and/or based in more than one region), you will need to draft an implementation plan. Refer to the Employers Guide for more information.
Please contact us to answer any questions you might have. All conversations are confidential and we won’t rush you through the process.
Once you have submitted your living wage application form or implementation 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.
To help recover the costs required to administer the program, we have introduced certification and re-certification fees for Living Wage Employers. Read our blog post to find out more about this decision.
|Type of organisation||Number of Staff in BC||Price of Certification|
|Non Profit/Public Bodies||0-50||$100|
There will also be an additional charge for employers wanting to receive a Living Wage plaque.
The plaques are made by Eclipse Awards, a Living Wage Employer based in Vancouver.
Ready to apply?
Submit your initial application information using this form.
What Is a Living Wage Employer?
- 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.
Learn more about becoming a Living Wage Employer.
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.
Find out how to become a Living Wage Employer
Find out who is a Living Wage Employer in BC
Living Wage Employers
A Living Wage Employer is a responsible employer who cares about their employees and the community.
Join over 370 certified Living Wage Employers across BC in addressing poverty.
What Is a Living Wage Employer?
Become a Living Wage Employer
Resources for Employers
Certified Living Wage Employers
Day 4 & 5: What is stopping us from raising the rates?
I cheated. I didn’t cheat a lot but I wonder if cheating a little bit on the Welfare Food Challenge is like being kind of pregnant. I am back on rice and beans. In fact, I have half a jar of rice and beans sitting in front of me that I am trying to get excited about and eat.Read more
Day 3: Why “get a job” just doesn’t cut it!
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
Day 2: Welfare Food Challenge – Charity or Justice?
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
Preparing for the Welfare Food Challenge
This year my partner Earyn and I decided to participate in the Welfare Food Challenge.Read more
The Living Wage and the Welfare Food Challenge
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