The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released its Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) for 2023 setting out “a bold approach to addressing the concerns that directly affect Canadians.” 

The Alternative Budget, entitled Rising to the Challenge: An Agenda for Public Leadership, comes at a time when Canadians are facing rising costs of living, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and a workforce crisis in all sectors of the care economy. 

The AFB chapter on child care says that “an effective transformation of child care in Canada will require federal, provincial, and territorial governments to work together effectively to move from Canada’s long standing, failed, market-based approach to a publicly managed system that recognizes, values, and funds child care as a public good.”

Building on Child Care Now’s Roadmap to Affordable Child Care for All, the AFB to calls to implement five actions in 2023:

  • Implement a federal capital expansion program to support the capital costs associated with the public and community-planned expansion of programs in high-quality and non-profit facilities
  • Implement an in-depth, comprehensive, Canada-wide workforce strategy
  • Adopt federal legislation to ensure that, at maturity, the Canada-wide system of early learning and child care entitles and provides all children and families in Canada with equitable access to high-quality, inclusive and culturally-safe programs
  • Introduce equitable direct funding models with adequate public funding and accountability mechanisms in place
  • Ensure parent fees are no more than $10 a day and that low-income families are entitled to child care at lower fees or no fees by 2025-2026.