FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 – Child Care Now welcomes Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s child care announcement this morning which promises the establishment of a federal child care secretariat to lay the groundwork for a pan-Canadian child care system and establish national standards. He also said a re-elected Liberal government will put in place ear-marked funding to lower parent fees for before and after-school care, and expand school-age child care by 250,000 spaces for children under the age of 10.
“We are pleased the Liberals recognize that the federal government can and must do more to build a real system of child care that can provide parents and children affordable child care across the country, and the promise to establish a federal child care secretariat to coordinate those efforts is excellent,” said Child Care Now Executive Director, Morna Ballantyne.
Federal leadership is especially important given that some Conservative provincial governments are backing away from funding child care services and instead redirecting public funds to tax credits and allowances that do nothing to make licensed child care more available and more affordable for anyone,” Ballantyne said.
Ballantyne also noted that school-age child care is an important piece of the child care system that has not received enough attention by governments in recent years despite its importance for families now that full school-day kindergarten for 5-year-olds and many 4 year-olds is the norm in Canada.
Ballantyne praised the Liberals for promising to double the current level of federal funding for child care to make school-age child care more available and affordable but said this must be seen only as a step to making child care available and affordable for children of all age groups.
“Licenced child care for children under the ages of 4 and 5 is the most expensive and in critically short supply, and that’s especially true for infant children,” said Ballantyne.
Child Care Now also wants to see measures to address the problem of low wages and overall compensation in the childcare sector.
Ballantyne explained it will be difficult to recruit and retain the staff necessary for the proposed expansion of school-age child care, or the much-needed expansion of child care for younger children, without a workforce strategy to raise the compensation of early childhood educators.
“In short, we see the Liberal announcement as a very positive start to the election campaign and look forward to hearing much more about child care and more strong commitments in the weeks ahead,” said Ballantyne.