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A new approach to child care

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Ashton, Niki
Press release
Publication Date: 
26 Sep 2017

The pursuit of economic justice includes a national child care system.

Canada needs a universal public system of high-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC). ECEC is a central pillar of children’s well-being, women’s economic security, and economic prosperity. For Canadians across the income spectrum, it is essential, not a frill.  

As indicated by a 2016 OECD report, Canadian families spend almost one-quarter of their income on child care. This ratio is much higher than in other parts of the world. The burden is more significant for single parents who spend on average almost a third of their income on child care.

Childcare costs are a major issue for young people, especially women. Many women are forced to take time away from the workforce thus exacerbating the economic insecurity many faces.

The federal government can and must take immediate and proper action to start building—with provinces/territories – an alternative for the benefit of children, parents, employers, early childhood educators and the economy. My building blocks for a new approach to child care will provide immediate relief for families and make possible a full universal child care system for all families by 2028.

Canada’s NDP has always been a leader in calling for accessible child care. I am proud to have done that work, in solidarity with child care advocates and activists across Canada, as the former Status of Women’s Critic.

I am committed to the principles of social and economic justice for all – and when Canada’s NDP forms government in 2019, implementing a universal public system of high-quality child care will be a top priority.