Excerpted from section: Expanding universal programs: post-secondary education, pharmacare, dental care and child care
Universal child care
1. Dedicate additional resources to making a universal, affordable, early learning and child-care (ELCC) system a reality
- Collaborate with provinces/territories, local communities, Indigenous communities and the child-care sector to ensure that a comprehensive short-, medium- and long-term policy road map – based on the principles of universality, affordability, quality, inclusivity, accessibility, and equity –finally becomes a reality.
- These principles will ensure a right of access for all children regardless of their parents’ work status or income levels, while at the same time allowing for regional and local adaptation.
2. Improve and strengthen parental leave
- Make parental leave more inclusive so it covers leave to care for elderly family members, leave following miscarriages and more,and more flexible and better paid.
3. Increase federal child care funding
- Immediately begin to ramp up federal child care funding to achieve the international benchmark of at least one per cent of GDP annually
- Long-term, stable, national funding must be made available and be sufficient to meet the standards of the guiding principles. It must also be secure and predictable enough to permit the long-term planning and sustainability of the programs.
- Ensure the training, recruitment and retention of well-paid and professional staff.
4. Eliminate GST on all construction costs related to child care spaces
5. Ensure equitable access to high-quality, culturally appropriate ELCC programmes for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children
- Build on the Multilateral Framework on Early Learning and Child Care and the accompanying bilateral agreements that have been negotiated with every province and territory, as well as with the First Nation, Inuit and Métis Peoples to ensure solutions are meeting their needs.