For decades, Canadians have called for high-quality child care for all.
In 2021, the federal government announced it would spend $30 billion over the next five years to reduce parent fees dramatically and significantly increase the number of licensed programs.
Good news: Fees have been reduced.
Bad news: Demand for affordable licensed child care spots outstrips supply.
The main obstacle to expanding licensed child care is a shortage of early childhood educators and other child care staff. It’s a problem that governments must fix urgently: better pay means better quality and better access.
We call on the federal, provincial and territorial governments to:
Raise wages and improve working conditions in child care.
We cannot have a Canada-wide child care program without qualified and appropriately compensated early childhood educators and other child care staff. Attracting and retaining quality staff is the primary stumbling block when it comes to affordable child care for all.
Ensure high-quality child care programs.
When it comes to our children, high quality early learning and care is everything. Research tells us the quality of programs depends on qualified educators, decent working conditions and proper compensation. For one thing, low wages contribute to high turnover which is associated with lower quality service and poorer child outcomes.
Make access to quality child care universal
Early learning and child care is just as vital as public education and health care. Early learning and child care is essential to the wellbeing and development of children. Parents–especially mothers–can’t work without it and nor can our economy.