Excerpted from the NDP's 2019 federal election commitments
Quality, affordable child care when you need it
Young families need access to quality, affordable child care. But today, there is an affordability crisis in child care across the country. Families are struggling to find child care spaces and get on waitlists – before their children are even born. Costs are unaffordable in many cities. And parents are forced to make impossible choices between delaying their return to work or paying huge amounts for the child care they need.
The pressure that parents feel today is the result of inaction by Liberal and Conservative governments. For ten years, the Conservative government worked against every effort to make quality child care more accessible to Canadian families. And since taking power, the Liberal government has offered only a patchwork approach that hasn’t made a difference for families struggling to find the care they need. The result is a broken system with child care costs that are among the highest in the world, and enormous worry in the lives of Canadian families.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Our vision is to give families relief. Every parent across Canada should be able to find the child care you need, when you need it with a licensed provider making a fair wage. We’ll work with other levels of government, Indigenous communities, families, and child care workers to ensure that care is inclusive and responsive to the needs of all Canadian children. And we’ll introduce legislation that enshrines Canada’s commitment to high-quality, public child care in law. Public early childhood education and child care that is affordable and available to all families helps our economy and gives parents real choices.
In the absence of federal leadership, provinces have stepped up to take strides towards affordable, accessible, quality child care. Quebec continues to be a leader, and New Democrat governments in British Columbia and Alberta have shown that investments in child care make a real difference in the lives of children, women, and families.
We will build on their work to make child care better for families by investing $1 billion in 2020 and growing that investment annually, along with the provinces and territories. We’re on the side of parents to ensure affordable, quality child care for all – because no one should be forced to choose between having a family and having a career.