Sheila Malcolmson

Sheila Malcolmson

Election – Affordable childcare

The cost of childcare is breaking household budgets

Parents work hard to give their kids the best possible start in life. But the cost of childcare is breaking household budgets, and too many parents have to sacrifice career goals because they can’t find affordable care.

The NDP will make sure there’s a quality space for every child – and that no parent pays more than $15 a day.

After a decade of Conservative government, Canadian families are paying more than ever for childcare: more than $1000 a month on average in BC– and that’s if they can find a space.

Almost 900,000 kids across Canada are without access to affordable childcare. Among children under five years old, fewer than 25% have access to regulated childcare, even though almost 75% of their mothers participate in the workforce. In First Nations communities, 78% of children under five do not have access to licensed child care services.

Stephen Harper promised to create 125,000 new childcare spaces, but he’s failed to deliver even one.  Instead, his government introduced a costly income-splitting scheme that mostly helps the wealthiest and leaves 85% of Canadian families with nothing. Canada ranks dead last among 14 comparable countries on public investment in early childhood education as a percentage of GDP.

Even after 12 years in office, the Liberals still didn’t get the job done, despite their promises. Their tax plan for families won’t create a single childcare space, and their proposed income tax cut does nothing at all for families making less than $44,700.

We know that investing in quality childcare is good for the economy:

Studies show that for every dollar invested in childcare, our economy grows by $2.

Work-life conflict experienced by employees with preschool children currently costs the Canadian business community $4 billion per year.

A national childcare program could generate more than $3 billion for the federal government through additional revenues and reduced costs as more women return to the workforce. There are 70,000 more women working since affordable childcare came to Quebec.

About Quebec’s universal, affordable childcare program, Pierre Fortin (Professor of Economics, University of Quebec at Montreal) said, “The argument can no longer be that governments cannot afford it. This program is paying for itself. It is self-financing.”

Tom Mulcair’s NDP has a plan to improve childcare for Canadian families:

We’ll work with provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to deliver a Canada-wide early childhood education and childcare program.

We’ll create or maintain a million quality childcare spaces in Canada – where parents pay no more than $15 a day.

As a former Quebec Cabinet Minister, Tom saw firsthand how that province’s universal, affordable childcare program helped families and boosted the economy. We can build on the success of that program to help families across the country.

The NDP knows it’s time for a national early childhood education and childcare program to help Canadian families and the economy. Affordable quality childcare for Canadian families is just an election away.

See more about our childcare plan at: www.ndp.ca/childcare