Excerpts from the platform:
The NDP has fought for years alongside women, early childhood education experts and parents for a national commitment to quality child care.
Funding was promised in the very first Liberal Red Book of campaign promises in 1993. We had to wait for 12 years and four elections until a minority Parliament forced the Liberals to put that promise into practice. New Democrats celebrate the fact that NDP governments in Manitoba and Saskatchewan signed agreements to ensure the non-profit delivery of child care.
But the Liberals are still failing Canada's families by allowing precious federal dollars to be diverted to profits for commercial child care companies. Jack Layton and the NDP have tirelessly pressed the government to direct its funding to building a comprehensive system of high-quality, licensed, non-profit child care.
A great deal more must be done if we are to have the early childhood education system Canada needs to succeed in the 21st century.
The NDP will work in the next parliament to:
- Introduce a National Child Care Act, legislation that will firmly establish a framework for a national child care and early learning system with a permanent commitment for the federal government. It will establish standards for a network of high-quality, licensed, non-profit care for our children.
- Invest $1.8 billion in the first year, and then increase this sum by $250 million a year over the following three years. At an average of $9,000 per space, this commitment means we will be providing 200,000 spaces for children, with an additional 25,000 children finding care in each of the next three years.