Child Care

Did you know that:

  • Almost 70% of mothers with children under five are working.
  • There are only enough regulated spaces for about 20% of 0 to 5 year olds. It’s even harder to find spaces for infants and toddlers, children with disabilities, Aboriginal and rural children.
  • For many families, child care is the second highest expense after housing. In Ontario, families can pay between $40 and $60 a day for care. In big cities, the cost is higher.

Yet Canada lacks a national child care system.

Workers have demanded and won leave to look after children when they are sick, better vacation time and other ways to balance work and family life.  They have banded together to create employer-sponsored funds to help families pay for child care, and some have helped establish workplace child care centres.  But without a real early childhood education and child care system that builds and ensures access and quality, child care will continue to be a matter of luck — living in the right part of the country, having the money, getting on a long wait list at the right time — even having a baby at the right time — as new generations of Canadian parents continue to struggle to find and afford quality child care. Yet we know that creating a child care system from which all Canadians can gain is possible, with well-formed policy and political will.

It can be done. Research has shown that Quebec’s investment in its $7 a day child care program has more than paid for itself through mothers’ annual income and consumption taxes. They increased the number of women in the workforce by 3.8 per cent, pumping an additional $5.2 billion into the Quebec economy and boosting the province’s Gross Domestic Product by 1.7 per cent. 

It's time for the federal government to understand the benefits of child care not just for individual families, but for our economy, our workplaces and our communities. The federal government needs to work with the provinces and territories to make the vision of a national child care system a reality.

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