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Throne Speech childcare pledges too vague, advocacy groups say

Kids play in a sandbox at a daycare centre while Premier Christy Clark speaks during a news conference in Vancouver in 2011.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

The B.C. government is promising to give province-wide childcare a boost, but children's advocates say they're not expecting the new measures mentioned in the Throne Speech to amount to a comprehensive plan.

Some groups have been pushing for a daycare plan that costs parents $10 per day and say their campaigning has garnered support from thousands of people and organizations.

But Tuesday's Throne Speech in the legislature was vague in outlining the government's plans, simply suggesting there will be additional measures to improve access and affordability of childcare.

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Paul Kershaw, with the group Generation Squeeze, says he believes their efforts have compelled the government to address childcare issues, but what's more crucial is for their policy recommendations to be adopted.

Emily Mlieczko, executive director of the Early Childhood Educators of B.C., adds that a plan isn't expected overnight, but political will is required to patch the current piecemeal system that's far too expensive.

The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union says childcare costs $9,000 a year for a two-year-old and that in B.C. there is only one licensed space for every five children.

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