September 25, 2020
Employment and Social Development Canada
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare how critical accessible, affordable, inclusive and high-quality child care is for our families, our children and our economy. Too often parents, particularly women, are having to make very difficult choices between their jobs and taking care of their families, choices that may have decades-long impacts on their careers.
Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, spoke about the Government of Canada’s commitment to create a Canada-wide early learning and child care system, as promised in the Speech from the Throne on September 23, 2020.
The Government of Canada will build on previous investments that have created close to 40,000 new child care spaces, and work with all provinces and territories, as well as with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation governments, to ensure that high-quality care is accessible to all.
Additionally, the Government of Canada remains committed to subsidizing before- and after-school program costs as flexible care options for primary school children are now more important than ever.
“For Canadian families, child care is not a convenience; it is a necessity. Canadians need more accessible, affordable, inclusive and high-quality child care. That’s why the Government will make a significant, long-term, sustained investment to create a Canada-wide early learning and child care system.”
– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen
The Government of Canada has committed $7.5 billion over 11 years, starting in 2017-18, to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care across the country. This includes $1.2 billion over three years to provinces and territories through bilateral agreements for early learning and child care programs.
Since 2017–18, federal investments have helped create close to 40,000 more affordable child care spaces nationally prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada is now working with each jurisdiction to invest an additional $400 million in 2020–21.
The Government of Canada has announced in July an additional $625 million in 2020–21 to address the reduced availability of child care and the unique needs of the child care sector stemming from the pandemic across Canada.