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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A Fort St. John in-home daycare provider is concerned she won’t be able to compete with facilities taking part in the $10 a day childcare program.

The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, says that if a business is not eligible for the program they’d have to compete with the centres that are eligible, which means she’d have to lower her rates to ten dollars a day.

She claims that this would put her out of business, as she can’t charge that low of a rate without a government subsidy.

She believes many in-home daycares are not going to be able to meet the requirements for the program.

“They require regular financial reporting, regular budgeting. So you basically have to give expense reports and show them how you’re spending the money that you’re making. And basically turning over any extra funds to them. You become an employee rather than owning the business, essentially,” she said.

“I feel they could make it a little bit easier to be eligible to get that funding for your daycare,” she added.

According to the B.C. government website, child care providers must have been receiving child care operating funding for at least two years, be approved for the child care fee reduction initiative, participate in the early educator wage enhancement program, be willing to enroll families receiving the affordable child care benefit and provide the government with the financial details of their operation.

She claims other in-home daycare owners are “not super thrilled about it.”

While she has her concerns, she explained that she and other daycare owners are not against affordable childcare.

“When the $10 a day program comes in, that will only be eligible for certain centres, which means people kind of lose that freedom of choice of if they want to put their kids in like a facility daycare versus an in-home daycare, the options kind of go away because only so many daycares will be eligible for that program.”

She say that they only have so many spaces that they’re going to be approving for this program to start off with.

“That means that most people will have to continue to pay for the regular childcare without the $10 a day program, so I feel like it is probably going to affect a lot of daycares in town,” she reasoned.

The current program in place, the Affordable Child Care Benefit, is a monthly payment to help eligible families with the cost of child care. They take into account income, family size and type of care to determine how much support each family can get.

Recently, YMCA centres in Chetwynd and Fort St. John have joined the $10 a day childcare program. The Chetwynd YMCA Centre offers 25 spaces for children aged three to five years old and the one in Ma Murray in Fort St. John offers 61 spaces.

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