Canada’s child care advocacy organization releases analysis of party platforms

Liberals, NDP and Green commit to child care; Conservatives put $6 billion of child care funding at risk


OTTAWA, OCTOBER 17, 2019 – This morning, Child Care Now, Canada’s child care advocacy organization, released its final analysis of the child care promises made by each of the federal parties with seats in the last Parliament.

“In the lead up to the 2019 election call, our organization identified specific measures the next federal government should take to build proper systems of early learning and child care in Canada so that every child can have access to high quality services,” said Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director of Child Care Now.

“More than one hundred diverse organizations, from the Girl Guides of Canada to UNICEF Canada to the Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce, have endorsed our Affordable Child Care for All Plan, and thousands of individuals wrote to the leaders of the federal parties urging them to include the plan in their campaign platforms,” she said.

Child Care Now’s platform analysis shows that the Liberal Party of Canada, NDP and Green Party have each committed to making important improvements to early learning and child care over the next four years.

The NDP and Greens have stated explicitly that they will make child care universally accessible by 2030 starting with a $10 billion expenditure on child care over the next four years, and the Liberals have promised to establish a national secretariat to lay the groundwork for a pan-Canadian child care system working closely with the newly created Expert Panel on Early Learning and Child Care.

The NDP has committed to funding an additional 500,000 child care spaces for all age groups that are affordable for parents; the Liberals said they will create 250,000 child care spaces for school-age children under 10 years old and bring down parent fees for school-age child care by 10 per cent.

The NDP is the only party to agree with Child Care Now’s proposal for federal child care legislation that would make federal child care transfer payments to the provinces and territories conditional on them using the funds to build a universal child care system.

The Conservatives and the Bloc Quebecois, in contrast, have made no commitments with respect to early learning and child care.  Alarmingly, the Conservative Party of Canada platform pledges massive cuts to federal funding for infrastructure—cuts that could put at risk almost $6 billion already budgeted for early learning and child care over the next eight years.

“We are encouraged that three federal parties have demonstrated such a clear understanding of the important role the federal government can play in making early learning and child care more accessible, affordable and inclusive of all children, and we are very pleased that the Liberals, NDP and Green have committed to sustaining a long-term effort to make quality child care a universal, publicly funded service in Canada,” said Ballantyne.

“It is gratifying to see child care emerge as a significant issue in this 2019 election campaign; it reflects the evidence-based consensus that child care is central to the well-being of children and families, to the economic security of parents, particularly women, and to Canada’s economic growth.”

Read the full analysis.