Excerpts from the brief:
This submission makes three recommendations for the Committee's consideration with regards to the preparation of the 2012 federal budget:
1. Place a high priority on increasing Canada's annual investments in early childhood care and learning from our current 0.25% of GDP to the recommended UNICEF benchmark of 1% of GDP.
2. Focus spending and re-design federal tax policy with the aim of reversing the growth of income inequality in Canada.
3. Submit all budget decisions to the scrutiny of a child impact assessment, especially for impacts on members of particularly vulnerable groups such as Aboriginal children, children with disabilities, recent immigrant children and children in lone-parent female-led families, in order to ensure that we do no harm.
Accomplishing the first two broad policy objectives, supporting early childhood development and reducing income inequality, is fundamental to creating a healthier, more sustainable path of social and economic development for our country. The third recommendation provides a process with little or no cost that will reduce the risk for negative unintended consequences.
Our future depends on the ability of today's young people to achieve their fullest potential, and we know living in poverty or going without crucial early childhood supports undermines that potential.