On May 4, 2023 the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) presented to the House of Commons its report on Bill C-35, the federal government’s proposed early learning and child care legislation. 

This report includes several amendments to the legislation, informed by the briefs and witness testimony received by the Committee during its review. More than 60 individuals and organizations made submissions. Child Care Now proposed amendments in a brief and Executive Director Morna Ballanytne appeared as a witness before the Committee on March 21, 2023. 

Child Care Now is pleased that several of our proposed amendments were adopted by the Committee, including stronger language with respect to increasing child care access for systematically marginalized groups. As well, we called for changes that would require the National Advisory Council on Early Learning and Child Care that will be established through the legislation and are glad that the Bill now requires the Council “consult broadly with individuals and organizations that have an interest in early learning and child care, including parents, the early childhood education workforce, child care providers, advocates and policy and research specialists.” 

“For more than forty years, child care advocates have called for federal legislation that commits federal support for a Canada-wide system of universally accessible and inclusive child care and we are well on our way to finally getting it” said Morna Ballantyne, Child Care Now Executive Director. 

“We are pleased that the Liberal government consulted widely in the drafting of Bill C-35 and that adoption of the legislation is one of the commitments set out in the Liberal-NDP confidence and supply agreement,” she added.

The federal bill enshrines in law the Government of Canada’s commitment to fund the development of provincial and territorial systems of early learning and child care that provide high quality, inclusive, affordable, and accessible early childhood education and care programs for young children everywhere in Canada. 

The bill is currently at the report stage in the House of Commons, which will be followed by a third reading in the House and as well as a review by the Senate. Child Care Now will be continuing to monitor the Bill’s progress and provide updates and analysis as it goes forward.