Families across Canada are crying out for access to early learning and child care (ELCC).

The federal government’s historic child care initiative has brought down parent fees for licensed child care for children under 6, however, there are only enough licensed spaces for a fraction of those who need it.

The federal, provincial and territorial governments have promised to create an additional 250,000 licensed spaces by 2025-26, primarily in the not-for-profit and public sectors. But we have seen very few of these spaces open. A recent report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives confirms that about half of younger children in Canada live in child care deserts.

On November 30th, the annual Day of Action for ELCC, child care advocates will call for immediate and proper government action to address the shortage of qualified early childhood educators, which is a major block to making licensed programs more available. Also, the Day of Action will back up the child care movement’s demand for public capital funds to finance the growth of not-for-profit and public child care.

“The federal government is fulfilling its promise to bring down parent fees for licensed child care making programs much more affordable for those who have spaces,” says Child Care Now Executive Director Morna Ballantyne. “But fee reductions do not help the thousands of families for whom there are no programs.”

“On November 30th, we will be pushing for equitable access which can be realized only if the federal, provincial and territorial governments put in place a comprehensive expansion plan for more not-for-profit and public child care, and that plan must include specific and immediate improvements to the the wages, benefits, pensions and working conditions of those who work in the sector,” she said.

How to support the Day of Action

Child Care Now is calling on everyone who supports fully accessible and inclusive early learning and child care to:

  • Sign the Child Care Now open letter to governments calling for Child Care For All Now, and encourage others to do the same
  • If you work in a licensed child care setting, contact families on your waiting lists urging them to write to their elected representatives
  • If you are a parent with a child in the not-for-profit ELCC sector, ask your Board of Directors to take action
  • Post pictures of yourself and others wearing polka dots with the message #dotsforspots
  • Post messages of support for the Day of Action on social media with the hashtags #wheresthechidcare #WorthMore and #10adayforall
  • Share this post with people you know, and start the conversation about why these issues are important