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Child care for all - Advocating for child care in an election: 2021 election toolkit

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Fact sheet
Publication Date: 
25 Aug 2021

What’s in this kit

  • How to advocate for child care in the 2021 election

  • What we want from the political parties and candidates

  • Quick background facts

  • How and where to campaign for child care

  • Ask your candidate to sign the candidate pledge, and share the result

  • What to say when you campaign for child care

  • Key messages

How to advocate for child care in the 2021 election

In this 2021 federal election we must secure the 2021 federal budget commitment to a Canada-wide wide system of child care. Specifically, we must get the political parties and candidates to pledge support, and we must convince voters to vote for child care for all.

Getting engaged in your democracy means getting active in your community - we urge all advocates to observe and support COVID19 safety protocols at all times, and especially when organizing events or carrying out any other campaign activities.

What we want from the political parties and candidates

In this election, we want political parties and candidates to pledge to:

  • Build a publicly funded and managed Canada-wide system of universally accessible high-quality early learning and child care

And, to support:

  • Federal spending of $34 billion over the next five years as set out in the 2021 federal budget
  • Implementation of the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework Agreement
  • Honouring signed child care agreements and reaching similar agreements with the remaining provinces/territories
  • Earmarked federal capital funding for the Canada-wide child care system and steps to ensure funded assets are publicly owned
  • Federal child care legislation to strengthen and protect a Canada-wide child care system

Quick background facts

  • The 2021 federal budget allocates $34 billion over the next five years for early learning and child care, including Indigenous early learning and child care
  • The budget commits to a minimum of $9.2 billion annually after 2025-2026
  • Eight jurisdictions have signed bilateral agreements with the federal government securing a proportionate share of this funding to:
    • cut parent fees by the end of next year ○ bring down parent fees to an average minimum of $10 a day
    • improve the wages and working conditions of early childhood educators
    • dramatically increase the number of quality and affordable child care spaces in the public and not for profit sectors child care
  • To date, agreements have been signed with:
    • Newfoundland/ Labrador
    • Prince Edward Island
    • Nova Scotia
    • Quebec
    • Manitoba
    • Saskatchewan
    • British Columbia
    • Yukon Territory
  • This chart provides information on the funding and number of spaces agreed to in each of the eight ELCC agreements


How and where to campaign for child care

In your community

  • create opportunities for conversation in your community:
    • coffee dates with people in your circles ○ leafleting on the street (mainstreeting)
    • setting up an information tables at events
    • through door-to-door canvassing
  • download this “I vote for quality affordable child care for all” window sign
    • download a colour, black and white or “colour in the bubbles” version
    • use it to make a lawn sign
  •  sign this petition to help build a strong community of child care advocates
  • write letters to the editor
    • communicate your personal experience and/or the situation in your community
    • say what you expect from candidates and parties
    • add your name, anonymous letters will not be published
    • letters must be between 200 -250 words in length
    • if your submission is published be sure to share widely on social media (tag #cdnchildcare, @Child_Care_Now) and email it to
  • write an Opinion Editorial
    • the media welcomes free content
    • OpEds should be approximately 650 words in length
    • send to your local paper’s Opinion Editor, or Managing Editor and be sure to follow up within days of submission
    • use both personal experience and factual content
    • feel free to use embedded links to other content
    • if your submission is published be sure to share widely on social media (tag #cdnchildcare, @Child_Care_Now) and email it to

Attend candidate forums (in-person and on-line)

  • attend and be prepared to ask your local candidates if they will support what we want from candidates (see above), and what action their party is proposing to take on child care
  • write down your questions in advance
  • understand each candidate's party platform prior to the event

On Social Media

  • use social media to share and amplify messages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok)
  • take the voter pledge and share it on social media
    • take a photo of the pledge and share with a personal statement like “I live in Ottawa-Centre and I will be voting for universal child care!” \encourage others on social media to take the pledge too
    • put the pledge on your mailbox or window
  • ask your local candidates to take the Candidate Pledge, document with a photo and share widely on social media, include a personal message with your post about your riding and the specific candidate
  • tag candidates, political parties, political party leaders and interested journalists
  • use hashtags to have your message appear in more places. We suggest:
    • #Elxn44
    • #CdnChildCare ○ #VOTEchildcare4all
    •  #ChildCarePledge
  • don’t forget to tag us:
    • Facebook: @childcarenowcanada
    • Twitter: @child_care_now
    • Instagram: @child_care_now

Candidate contact

All the political parties have said in one way or another that they support child care. However, not all parties (nor all candidates) share our view that the federal government must take leadership and allocate significant funds to build a high quality child care system so that ALL children have access to, and are included in, high quality, regulated and licensed child care programs.

Try to make contact with the candidates in your riding(s) and ask them to pledge support for child care. Meet with each candidate in person or by phone. If that is not possible, write to them. If a candidate will meet, bring others including representatives of supportive organizations.


For more see the tool kit online or in PDF format.