Excerpt from early learning and child care section:
The practical need for a publicly supported early learning and child care program is clear:
- 1.3 million of the two million children under the age of six in this country have a mother in the paid labour force.
- A majority of parents &em; whether they are employed in the workforce, in school, or at home want to expose their young children to positive learning and socialization experiences.
- Parents in the paid labour force, or attending school, want assurances that their young children are in safe, nurturing and high quality early learning and care environments.
Together, we will move the vision of a national early learning and child care system from being an ideal into being a permanent and tangible component of our national social fabric.
- A permanent commitment: With agreements covering 10 provinces now in place, a Liberal government will make permanent its commitment to early learning and child care. This will allow provinces, territories and stakeholder groups to make long-term plans.
- Currently budgeted funding is $5 billion through 2009&em;10.Over the subsequent five years through 2015, federal support will total at least $6 billion. It is anticipated that this amount of $1.2 billion per year will be increased, with the amount and profile of the increase to be determined in light of the scheduled evaluation of the program in 2009.
- To provide further assistance for the capital cost of early learning and child care facilities, a Liberal government will make "not-for-profit" facilities eligible for the next funding phase of the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund and the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund.
&em; A National Quality Framework will be developed as the basis for guidelines and evidence-based benchmarks for future programming.