More than 100 diverse organizations and thousands of individuals across Canada have endorsed Child Care Now’s Affordable Child Care for All plan to make high quality licensed child care accessible, affordable and inclusive of all children whose parents want child care services.
Child Care Now has examined the 2019 election platforms of the five parties with seats in the last parliament to see how they measure up against the key elements of our plan. The Liberal Party of Canada, NDP, and Green Party have each committed to make child care more accessible and affordable for parents with young children, and to build proper systems of early learning and child care over time. The NDP is the only party to promise federal legislation enshrining its child care commitment in law. Both the NDP and Green Party have agreed to Child Care Now’s recommended increase in federal funding.
The Conservative Party of Canada has made no commitments with respect to child care. Worse, its platform includes massive infrastructure spending cuts that put at risk almost $6 billion of child care funding already allocated for early learning and child care. The Bloc Québecois has made no commitments with respect to child care.
Here are the details of the commitments made by the Liberals, NDP and Green Party.
|Issue||The “Affordable Child Care for All” Plan||Liberal||NDP||Green|
|Increased federal funding||$10 billion over four years earmarked for child care for children 0-12 years of age||$2.14 billion over four years ear-marked for school age child care||$10 billion over four years, plus $10 million in first year to support the establishment of a national child care secretariat||$10 billion over four years|
|Accessibility||Federal funds will be directed to support the expansion of licensed child care for all age groups in a variety of settings (centres, full/part-time, home child care). Expansion will be planned to meet the diverse needs of children and families, including those with special needs. All expansion will be supported by capital funding, and a child care workforce strategy to ensure sufficient numbers of qualified staff.||250,000 new spaces for school-age children under 10 years; 10 per cent of new spaces for parents working non-standard hours||500,000 new licensed spaces for children 0-12. Will work with other levels of government, Indigenous communities, families and child care workers to ensure care is inclusive and responsive to the needs of all Canadian children.||Will locate child care close to home or work, along public transit routes or transportation hubs|
|Affordability||Licensed child care will be paid mainly through direct public funding of operational costs. Parents will contribute to these costs based on household income. Fee ceilings will ensure fees are affordable for all.||School age parent fees will be reduced by 10 per cent||Will make child care services affordable for parents||No commitment|
|Quality||Fixing child care workforce issues is central to improving quality. Therefore, federal, provincial and territorial governments will work together, and with Indigenous communities and the child care sector, to develop and implement a workforce strategy which will address remuneration, educational requirements, training, recruitment and retention of early childhood educators and others who work in the sector.||Will give more support to early childhood educators by investing at least $25 million per year to help cover the costs of early childhood educators’ training, and lower tuition for people getting an ECE degree.||Will ensure fair wages for licensed child care providers||No commitment|
|Indigenous early learning and child care||Work with Indigenous leaders and communities will continue to operationalize, implement and expand on the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Framework to realize the goals and aspirations of the Indigenous Peoples||No further commitment with respect to the Indigenous ELCC Framework but other commitments to “build a better future with Indigenous Peoples.”||No commitment with respect to the Indigenous ELCC Framework but will work with Indigenous communities to ensure care is inclusive and responsive to the needs of all Canadian children.||No further commitment with respect to the Indigenous ELCC Framework but other commitments related to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.|
|Federal child care legislation||Will enact federal child care legislation that enshrines Canada’s commitment to public child care, and sets out the principles and conditions for ELCC federal transfer payments similar to the Canada Health Act||No commitment||Will enact federal child care legislation that enshrines Canada’s commitment to public child care, and sets out the principles and conditions for ELCC federal transfer payments similar to the Canada Health Act||No commitment|
|Federal child care secretariat||A federal child care secretariat will be established to facilitate collaboration with the provinces/territories, the Indigenous Peoples, experts and stakeholders, and to coordinate child care initiatives such as a workforce strategy, a data/research strategy and innovation||Will establish a national secretariat to work with the provinces and territories to lay the groundwork for a pan-Canadian child care system. Working closely with the Expert Panel on Early Learning and Child Care, the secretariat will help establish national standards for future agreements under the Early Learning and Child Care Framework, promote best practices, and advance gender equality||Will commit $10 million to creating a national child care secretariat to collaborate with the provinces and territories on initiatives such as a workforce strategy and improved data sharing and research||No commitment|