From: Office of the Prime Minister (https://pm.gc.ca)
The time for a Canada-wide early learning and child care system is now. Too many families in Canada lack access to affordable, inclusive, and high-quality child care. The global COVID-19 pandemic has also made it clear that without access to child care, parents – especially women – cannot fully participate in the economy. By building a Canada-wide early learning and child care system, the Government of Canada will make life more affordable for Canadian families and increase women’s participation in the workforce, while creating new jobs and driving strong economic growth as we recover from the pandemic.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the Premier of British Columbia, John Horgan, today announced an agreement that will significantly improve early learning and child care for children in the province. As part of this agreement, the Government of Canada will invest $3.2 billion over the next five years to help improve regulated early learning and child care for children under 6 years of age in British Columbia.
Under this agreement, the governments of Canada and British Columbia will work together to improve access to quality, affordable, flexible, and inclusive early learning and child care programs and services. British Columbia and Canada agree on the goal of $10 a day child care, and will work together towards achieving an average parent fee of $10 per day for all regulated child care spaces for children under 6 by the end of the five-year agreement. By the end of 2022, British Columbians will see a 50 per cent reduction in average parent fees for children under the age of 6 in regulated child care.
This agreement will lead to the creation of 30,000 new regulated early learning and child care spaces for children under the age of 6 within five years, and 40,000 spaces within seven years. These spaces will be focused on community investments that are long-term and run by public and non-profit institutions.
The agreement will fund critical services and support early childhood educators, including through the development of a wage grid.
The Government of Canada will continue to work with provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners across the country to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system that allows parents, especially mothers, the opportunity to get back into the workforce, and offers every child in Canada the best start in life. Our aim is to build a child care system that is designed from the start as inclusive, welcomes all children, and gives them an equal chance to succeed and flourish.
- In addition to the federal contribution, the Province of British Columbia will invest more than $2.5 billion over the next three years in early learning and child care. This builds on $2 billion invested by the Province through Childcare BC since 2018.
- Budget 2021 provides new investments to build a high-quality, affordable, flexible, and inclusive early learning and child care system across Canada. These investments total up to $30 billion over the next five years, and combined with previous investments announced since 2015, $9.2 billion every year, permanently.
- Through previous investments in early learning and child care, the Government of Canada helped to create over 40,000 more affordable child care spaces across the country prior to the pandemic, including nearly 2,800 in British Columbia.
- In addition to these investments, the Government of Canada is directly supporting parents, no matter how they choose to care for their children, through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB).
- In May 2021, the government began providing additional temporary support for families with children under the age of six through the CCB young child supplement. This helps Canadian families who are struggling with a range of unpredictable expenses during the pandemic, including temporary child care arrangements.
- Investments in child care will benefit all Canadians. Studies show that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, the broader economy receives between $1.50 and $2.80 in return.
- $10 a day child care for Canadian families (pm.gc.ca)
- Making life more affordable for Canadian parents (pm.gc.ca)
- Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience (budget.gc.ca)
- Canada child benefit (canada.ca)
- CCB young child supplement, 2021 (canada.ca)