Excerpts from the report:
In 2006, the Government of Canada announced the Universal Child Care Plan. This Plan included two components: the Universal Child Care Benefit, providing direct financial assistance to parents, and the Child Care Spaces Initiative, supporting the creation of new child care spaces. In September 2006, the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Canada created a Ministerial Advisory Committee to provide advice on the design of the Child Care Spaces Initiative.
The Ministerial Advisory Committee's terms of reference stated that the Committee was to:
- provide advice on the child care needs of Canadian families and the role and interests of employers, with a focus on improving accessibility to child care for all families;
- advise on the approach and mechanisms required to effectively design and implement the Child Care Spaces Initiative; and,
- provide formal recommendations on creating the Child Care Spaces Initiative.
The Committee has fulfilled its mandate by developing a comprehensive set of recommendations that meet the diverse needs of contemporary Canadian families by improving accessibility to high quality child care by:
- focusing on innovation and partnerships;
- making direct and indirect investment in space development and enhancement;
- involving all stakeholders including employers (small, medium and large, across all sectors);
- providing a variety of tax and investment incentives; and,
- expanding parental leave under employment insurance.
The recommendations are focused on actions that are within Federal jurisdiction. The Committee respects and recognizes the lead role played by provincial, territorial and municipal governments in regulating, funding and in some cases, operating child care.
The recommendations respect the diverse needs, preferences, priorities, and opinions of families living in rural, suburban and urban communities across Canada.