FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MEDIA Release January 27, 2009
2009 Federal Budget –Children and Families Left Behind
Toronto: “The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care is disappointed that quality early learning and child care services are absent from this federal budget. The Harper government has done little to protect Canadian families against the recession,” says Jenny Robinson, Executive Director, OCBCC.
Access to affordable quality child care is one of the economic pillars of modern families – without it parents can’t work or study. Yet, Canadians pay some of the highest child care fees in the world and less than 20% of working parents have access to regulated care. Canada, in fact, ranks last among OECD countries for investment and adequate service provision.
Economists consistently advise that investing in quality child care services will yield a 2:1 minimum return. “These are bankable investments. Tax cuts are not the answer for families who need affordable child care; tax cuts don’t create spaces and they don’t help families who struggle to pay for child care,” states Cheryl DeGras, President of the OCBCC.
If this budget is passed by the House of Commons, parents will be relying on the Ontario provincial government to spend some of the billions allocated to infrastructure on ‘shovel ready’ child care projects.
Under Best Start several Ontario municipalities planned expansion projects that were put on hold when Prime Minister Harper pulled the funding in 2005. With these projects the provincial government can build both physical and social bridges that will: prepare our future workforce, reduce poverty, and create new jobs for women, as well as men.
Families in Ontario need support and vision. If the Federal government won’t provide it the provincial government must.