Excerpt from economic 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 – before their children are even born. Costs are unaffordable in many cities. Not-for-profit child care centres across the country are closing down because of the pandemic. 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 in the six years since taking power, the Liberals have only offered promises that haven’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. Failing to invest in child care also keeps women out of the workforce, which will be a huge barrier to economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Our vision is to give families relief. Every parent across Canada should be able to find affordable 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 is critical to our economic recovery, 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 the New Democrat government in British Columbia has shown that investments in child care make a real difference in the lives of children, women, and families.
It’s urgent to both protect existing child care spaces, and create more. We will take immediate action to save not-for-profit child care centres that are at risk of closure with relief fund to re-open spaces that were lost during COVID-19. From there, we’ll immediately work with the provinces to build a universal, $10 a day childcare system that’s there for all parents, no matter where you live. New Democrats will actually create enough spaces so families don’t spend months on wait lists, and ensure that child care workers are paid a fair, living wage. Canadian families deserve no less.