Feds promise national childcare system

Advocates say first step will be ongoing financial commitment in next federal budget
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to build a national childcare and early learning system that will take notes from the model already existing in Quebec.

Few details were revealed during the federal government’s Throne Speech on Wednesday, but the Liberals pegged the need for more accessible, affordable, inclusive, and high quality care as an urgent matter to turbocharge gender equality and advance women’s economic participation.

The Government also remains committed to subsidizing before- and after-school program costs, as the pandemic has highlighted the challenges parents and families face with childcare.

Childcare advocates, in turn, are celebrating what they see as a bold course of action and are looking forward to seeing this Throne Speech promise fulfilled.

“Without an ambitious intervention by the federal government the crisis in childcare will get worse and slam the brakes on recovery because, without reliable access to child care, mothers will keep getting pushed out of the paid labour force, businesses will falter further, and government tax revenues will continue to fall,” said Morna Ballantyne, executive director of Child Care Now, Canada’s national childcare advocacy organization.

She says the first step will be for Parliament to make a “big ongoing financial commitment in the next federal budget.”

“Building a national universal childcare system is a legacy project that can transform Canada,” she said. “We know from ample research, evidence and experience how to do it in a way that puts the wellbeing of children at the centre, helps families prosper, and grows the economy, and we will continue to push the government to start the work without delay because Canada needs more and better child care now.”

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