“As it is, the agreement ignores the federal government’s election promise to create a ‘framework ensuring affordable, high-quality, fully inclusive child care is available to all families who need it’; it does not make universality even a long-term goal,." — Morna Ballantyne, executive director, Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC).
Ottawa (14 June 2017) — The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) joins with other Canadian unions and child care advocacy groups in welcoming the signing of a multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework on June 12.
Federal government commits to 3 years of funding for early learning and child care
The multilateral framework requires that provinces and territories must invest in regulated care for children 6 and under, place a priority on high-need parents, which includes parents with low-income, single parents, Indigenousparents, and parents working non-standard hours. It also specifies that the new funding must not replace existing early learning and child care programs.
The federal government has made a funding commitment for 3 years which includes $400M in the first year, up to $540M in the second and up to $545M in the third year.
Missing from the framework is a commitment to a universal child care program.
In a press release, Mona Ballantyne, executive director of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC) stated, “It’s good that the Government of Canada is engaged in discussion on child care after being absent for so long, but if the agreement is not strengthened, Canada will end up a decade from now with even greater disparities in access, affordability, quality and inclusion.”
“As it is, the agreement ignores the federal government’s election promise to create a ‘framework ensuring affordable, high-quality, fully inclusive child care is available to all families who need it’; it does not make universality even a long-term goal," said Ballantyne.
Several provinces have been moving toward universal child care systems. Ontario recently announced that it is moving to universally accessible child care with its pledge to spend $1.6 billion. Alberta recently introduced a pilot project in 22 locations that will provide child care for a maximum of $25 a day. And the B.C. NDP has promised to establish a $10-a-day child care program. Quebec has had a program in place for years for affordable child care.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. ~ NUPGE