Parents are forced to make difficult choices, such as juggling impossible schedules, delaying rejoining the workforce, or making informal child care arrangements. This is an unfair situation that disproportionately impacts women.
While the federal government promised to address the child care shortage in Budget 2021, they have yet to solve it, and families can’t wait any longer.
In a cost of living crisis, hundreds of thousands of Canadian families can’t find a child care space when they need it.
Canada is missing hundreds of thousands of child care spaces, and families are waiting for provincial and federal governments to put kids first and fulfill their commitment to child care.
We already know what causes the child care shortage, and it’s the workforce crisis caused by the low wages and poor working conditions for early childhood educators and other staff.
End the workforce crisis
The workers who take care of our children deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. These workers are almost all women, and compensating them fairly will end the workforce crisis around child care and support Canadian families.
Our governments already know what the issue is and how to fix it. Now, Canadian families need our governments to act and end the child care shortage impacting hundreds of thousands of kids and their families.
The shortage of child care spaces is a crisis; it’s a crisis for families and for all Canadians.
We applaud the federal government’s work to reduce child care fees to $10 per day. In doing so, the federal government recognized that accessible child care supports children, Canadian families, and our country’s economy. But while fees have dropped, the question of access to child care remains for hundreds of thousands of families that can’t find child care.
Our governments must urgently fix the workforce crisis and shortage of child care spaces. Our families need it. Canadians need it. And the workers who take care of our children need it too.
During a cost of living crisis, parents shouldn’t have to choose between care for their children or providing financially for their families.
What we want
Provide equitable wages to early childhood educators and other staff
The federal government needs to provide $7 billion over three years in federal transfer payments to the provinces, territories and Indigenous governments to fully implement competitive and equitable wage grids for early childhood educators and other staff, along with improved benefits and working conditions.
Fund the capital costs required to end the gaps in child care spaces
The federal government needs to provide $10 billion over the next three years to cover the capital costs associated with increasing the availability of licensed not-for-profit and public early learning and child care programs so that Canada can deliver accessible child care to all families that need it.
Make access to quality child care universal and equitable
Hundreds of thousands of Canadian families can’t find child care when they need it. The federal government has promised major expansion of not-for-profit and public early learning and child care across the country, yet this has not been delivered, and major expansion cannot be accomplished if governments do not develop and fund expansion plans.
While equitable access to child care is crucial, Canada has a long way to go before this is a reality. Currently, children with special needs, families in rural communities, low income families, racialized communities, newcomer families, and linguistic minorities all experience greater barriers to accessing child care.
The federal government must also implement the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework in order to ensure that Indigenous families can access high-quality and culturally responsive child care.