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I am not sure to what child-care options Minister Monte Solberg is referring in his recent letter to the editor.
Few options exist in New Brunswick where 86 per cent of children cannot access licenced child care. Fees remain unaffordable to many families, with day care often costing more than housing costs. N.B. has the poorest paid and trained child-care workforce in the country.
The $5.6 billion to which the minister refers is an income-support program, not child care.
If Solberg and the federal Conservatives are serious about early learning and child care, they will not limit the federal spending power in the Speech from the Throne and will pass Bill C-303.
Although child care is a provincial responsibility, federal leadership is essential. It is the federal spending power that led to medicare. Federal transfer money lets provincial governments move more quickly in making quality child care available and affordable to New Brunswick families.
We have a lot of ground to cover; New Brunswick invests $129 a child in child care, but the national average is $500 a child.
Bill C-303 will protect federal transfer monies to the provinces and will make sure provinces outside Quebec invest child-care dollars received from the federal government to make quality programs available and affordable.
N.B. Child Care Coalition
- reprinted from the Fredricton Daily Gleaner