Canada aims to have a national childcare plan in place by the end of the year
By Dami Igbinyemi
Every child deserves the best possible start in life, and all parents should have the ability to build both a family and a career. Yet too many families across Canada lack access to affordable, high-quality childcare. Therefore, the government of Canada is implementing a national childcare program with Canada’s provinces and territories.
In Budget 2021, the government set a five-year goal to see childcare costs reduced to as little as $10 a day. The federal government will work with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners to build a Canada-wide, community-based system of quality childcare. This plan will make life more affordable for families, get parents back into the workforce, add new jobs in childcare, grow the middle class while giving every child the best support they need in their early lives.
Budget 2021 offers new funds totalling up to $30 billion over the next 5 years and a minimum of $9.2 billion every year after. There are also plans on building approximately 40,000 new spaces across the country. By the end of 2022, the government aims to reduce average fees by 50%.
“Without childcare, Canadian parents can’t work. Today’s announcement is as much about meeting their needs as it is about setting our children up for success for generations to come. Investing in early childhood learning and establishing Canada-wide childcare will make life more affordable for families, create jobs, strengthen our economy, get women back into the workforce, and grow the middle class. We will get it done.” Said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Yukon Premier Sandy Silver and Jeanie McLean Yukon Minister of Education, announced an agreement that significantly improves early learning and childcare for children in Yukon. So far, this agreement is only in place in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and now Yukon.
Today’s announcement comes with the creation of 110 new regulated early learning and childcare spaces within the next five years. This agreement will fund the growth of skilled early childhood educators as well as support the current battle of Yukon’s wage grid. Providing a minimum wage of $30 an hour to fully qualified early childhood educators; one of the highest minimum wages in the country. On April 1st, 2021, Yukon launched a universal childcare system along with their early learning and childcare system.
“Strong educational supports for children of all ages and needs are vital for the success and prosperity of all Yukoners. This year we introduced the Yukon’s first universal affordable childcare program to provide Yukon children with access to affordable, high-quality childcare and learning opportunities. We are pleased to work with the Government of Canada to enhance this program and make life more affordable for Yukon families. Not only is this an investment that benefits our children’s development, it is an investment that benefits our local economy and equality in the workforce.” Said Sandy Silver, Premier of Yukon
While Quebec already has affordable prices for childcare, they will still be receiving their share of funding to upgrade their system further.