"It has been decades since anyone in this country launched a national social program, and it's long overdue." — James Clancy, NUPGE National President.
Ottawa (15 Oct. 2014) — "Affordable quality child care is a major barrier in Canada for many families who want to provide the best care for their children," says James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). "The establishment of a national child care program in Canada is long overdue."
NDP commits to a child care program based on affordability, accessibility and quality
On October 14, the New Democratic Party of Canada launched its national child care program that promises to be affordable and accessible for families across the country. The NDP plans to negotiate the details with each province and territory and has committed long-term predictable funding of up to $5 billion over eight years. The goal is to have parents not pay more than $15 per day for care.
"It has been decades since anyone in this country launched a national social program and it's long overdue," Clancy continued. "There is a need for the kind of real support parents will find in a national child care program. Parents and families have waited too long and paid too much for this already."
Experts confirm economic benefits with national child care program
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's data shows that Canada ranks dead last among 14 comparable countries on public investment in early childhood education as a percentage of GDP. For most people, child care costs are in the thousands, that is if parents can actually find an available space. Currently, 900,000 children are without child care. Affordable child care allows for families, and especially for single-income earners, to move out of poverty by being able to take advantage of opportunities to study and work knowing that their children are safe, happy, and getting the care they need to help them grow.
"A national child care program helps parents and their children, and it creates stable jobs for people in the community," said Clancy. "Investing in quality early childhood education and child care also means having highly trained and experienced workers in the field. It means good wages that will spur economic activity at the community level."
Pierre Fortin, a top Quebec economist and child care expert has said that a national child care plan "more than pays for itself." According to the Rethink Child care campaign, in a recent study Fortin and two of his colleagues from the Université de Sherbrooke found that "for every dollar Quebec spends on child care programs, $1.05 is returned in the form of higher tax revenues and lower spending for the provincial government, with an additional 44-cent benefit returned to the federal government."
"Rather than throwing token money at parents and calling it a program, like the Conservatives have done,"says Clancy, "investing in social programs, like child care, will provide the essential support we need for generations to come. It's this kind of forward-thinking that our country has been missing."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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