The Government of Canada’s child care funding agreement with Newfoundland and Labrador will bring down parent fees to $15 a day next year and to $10 a day in 2023 making regulated child care programs the most affordable in the country after Quebec, said Canada’s national child care advocacy organization.
“A fast reduction in parent fees will make it possible for more mothers with young children to be part of the paid labour force and that will not only raise family incomes but also contribute greatly to the economic recovery of the province and country,” said Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director of Child Care Now.
Ballantyne said the child care agreement also includes significant measures to increase the availability of early childhood education, including:
- the creation of just under 6,000 additional regulated child care spaces by 2025-26, and
- the introduction in 2023 of a new universal full-time pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds to be fully implemented by 2025-26.
She noted the agreement commits the Newfoundland and Labrador government to develop a comprehensive strategy to increase the proportion of trained early childhood educators in the sector. A provincial wage grid will be developed to ensure proper and competitive compensation is paid.
“We are pleased that each child care agreement announced to date includes provisions to address the very low wages and inadequate employee benefits in the child care sector,” said Ballantyne. “The federal government understands that it is impossible to build a Canada-wide system of early learning and child care without overcoming the barriers to recruiting and retaining qualified staff.”