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NDP Leader Jack Layton has announced a day-care plan, vowing to limit new money to not-for-profit day cares and adding $5-billion a year to the tax credit program for parents.
The NDP estimates the Liberal plan would create about 177,000 new day-care spaces, but that number would not grow because the funding would remain at $1.6-billion.
Instead, the NDP plan would start by creating 200,000 new spaces and then add 25,000 additional spaces in each of the next three years.
Speaking at the non-profit Parkdale Beach Child Care Centre in Toronto, Mr. Layton dismissed the Conservative party leader Stephen Harper's plan, which is to give all parents with children six and under $1,200 per year.
"Mr. Harper's plan is simply a tax cut. Mr. Martin's plan is simply giving no-strings attached cheques to the provinces to do whatever they want to," he said.
The NDP leader said he would bring in legislation to make sure large, for-profit, day centres do not take hold in Canada as they have in Australia.
That promise, in addition to the extra cash, won high praise from one of Canada's main child care advocacy groups.
"Their child care platform builds it right," said Monica Lysack, the executive director of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada, in a statement.
Ms. Lysack's organization stated that the NDP's proposed Child Care Act is the best way to ensure day care money to the provinces is spent properly.
"The NDP is the only party that is walking the talk of making community-based child care a reality for families. The Conservative plan is a throwback to another era. The Liberal plan so far lacks real commitment to growing a system."
- reprinted from the Globe and Mail