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Today one of the BC Liberal leadership candidates, Mike de Jong, MLA for Abbotsford West, announced a platform plank wherein he committed to bring in optional kindergarten for 4 year olds. I released a media statement welcoming his announcement today as it follows in the footsteps of the B.C. Green Party platform which proposed to provide free early childhood education to three and four year olds. Below I reproduce the statement.

Media Statement

Weaver: Mike de Jong’s free kindergarten for 4 year olds is an opportunity for collaborative politics based on good public policy and evidence
For immediate release
October 30, 2017

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver welcomed B.C. Liberal leadership candidate Mike de Jong’s campaign platform plank that would give free optional kindergarten for 4 year olds. This comes on the heels of a Conference Board of Canada report documenting the benefits of investments into Early Childhood Education on Friday. De Jong’s policy follows in the footsteps of the B.C. Green Party platform which proposed to provide free early childhood education to three and four year olds.

“I am delighted that Mr. de Jong is proposing this excellent evidence-based policy as part of his B.C. Liberal leadership campaign,” said Weaver.

“Early childhood education (ECE) yields higher returns than education at any other level. Last week’s Conference Board of Canada report found that every dollar invested in early childhood education yields $6 down the road. Providing free ECE would also help families struggling with the effects of the affordability crisis. This is good public policy that puts people first – plain and simple.

“What’s most exciting is that this demonstrates the enormous opportunity to work together across party lines in order to deliver for British Columbians. We all want the same thing: to ensure a high quality of life for the people we represent. When we focus on common ground, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.

“For far too long, politics in British Columbia has been about power, with opposition parties first instinct to take partisan shots at government with the sole aim of getting back into power themselves. This status quo leads to divisive, inflammatory and unproductive politics, much like we have witnessed south of the border. There is no better opportunity to do things differently than in a minority government. I welcome the opportunity to work with Mr. de Jong, and all members of the B.C. Liberal caucus, on this issue and other ways in which we can collaborate to make good, evidence-based policies a reality for British Columbians.”


Media contact
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597 | jillian.oliver@leg.bc.ca


  1. Lacey B Nutt-
    November 4, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    The Province of Ontario has a 4 year old junior kindergarten program for there province.

    But as a British Columbian working in the early childhood education field. I value my profession and am making a statement for our field and for families.

    A 4 year old free kindergarten program would be beneficial for the province yet, what about the rest of the children under 4.

    With our economy and the continual increase of housing costs, food, gas etc both parents have to work to pay to support their families.

    So moms are going back to work after there materal leave ends and maybe before it ends. And with the lack of childcare spaces and the waitlists it is an on going struggle for families.

    So its great the politicians are coming together for the province but what are they thinking for the bigger picture. How are we going to support the rest of the families of our province?

    How are they going to make childcare more affordable for families?

  2. Meg Belanger-
    November 4, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    How does this affect current Early Learning Childcare centres? How will families access these? What hours would these be open? Are these really addressing the crisis situation this province is in for Childcare? How are working families benefiting? Where will these be located, so many questions concerning this proposal and I’m only getting started. Please explain this proposal in more detail, thank you.

  3. John Nelson-
    October 31, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Agreed! Hope you can help make this happen Andrew

  4. Alison Shaw-
    October 31, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Nicely done!