July 24, 2020 Ottawa, Ontario Employment and Social Development Canada
The Government of Canada has been working closely with provinces and territories to ensure all families have access to affordable and high quality child care. The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges, including temporary closures and loss of critical revenue from placement fees, which have put the sector at risk.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced $625 million in federal support for Canada’s child care sector to help ensure that safe and sufficient child care spaces are available to support parents’ gradual return to work. Along with the agreements under the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework, this investment means the Government of Canada will invest almost $1.2 billion to support child care in 2020-2021, a 67% increase over the next highest year in history, 2005-2006, when $700 million were announced.
This investment through the Safe Restart Agreement will help address the key priorities agreed upon by Canada’s First Ministers for the safe restart of Canada’s economy over the next six to eight months.
“The availability of affordable, high-quality and flexible child care will be key to ensuring Canadian parents can return to work and our economy can recover from this crisis. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the child care sector to ensure all Canadian families will have access to the quality child care they need.”
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“The early years of a child's life are critical to their overall health and wellbeing. As we begin to safely restart our economy and approach recovery, access to safe and affordable child care is essential to ensuring Canadian parents are able to return to work, and children are able to return to the enriching environments they need to succeed."
– The Honourable Mona Fortier, Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance
This investment is in addition to the $1.2 billion over three years that was distributed to the provinces and territories, starting in 2017-18, to support early learning and child care and create up to 40,000 more affordable child care spaces.
Funding is allocated to the provinces and territories based on the existing allocation formula used for the Early Learning and Child Care Bilateral Agreements.
The key priorities to safely restart Canada’s economy are:
- Testing, contact tracing, and data management
- Health care system capacity
- Vulnerable populations
- Personal protective equipment for health and non-health workers
- Child care for returning workers
- Pan-Canadian sick leave