Federal funds are needed now to help struggling families with their child care needs. Parents either can’t find spaces or afford the fees. Waiting lists are too long and available subsidies often don’t cover the costs.
Delayed funds a lost opportunity
The budget includes $529.4 million from the Social Infrastructure Fund for child care, but $500 million of that allocation will be delayed until 2017-2018. Of that amount, $400 million will support child care initiatives of provinces and territories and $100 million will go to child care and early learning in Indigenous communities. If these funds could be used now they would help advance women’s equality, reduce poverty and reduce the stress on parents.
The remaining $29.4 million has been earmarked for repairs and renovations of facilities used by the Aboriginal Head Start on Reserve Program and the First Nations and Inuit Child Care Initiative in 2016-17.
Government taking the lead again
The federal government will be leading the development of a National Framework on Early Learning and Child Care, bringing together the provinces, territories and Indigenous peoples, starting this year.
As a member of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada, PSAC supports the building of a publicly funded and managed child care system supported by an inclusive policy framework based on solid evidence and research.