Child care advocacy association of Canada - The 2010 Federal Budget contains nothing for child care (* French Version Available)
Instead, the 2010 Budget includes an improvement of the taxation of the UCCB for single parents. As Campaign 2000 explains, "This federal budget doesn't even remotely make a dent in Canada's abysmal rate of child and family poverty...Tinkering with enhancing the UCCB for sole support lone parents is far from being a substitute for a system of accessible high quality ECEC."
While the federal government celebrates Canada's Olympic achievements on the international stage, they continue to ignore our shameful comparison to other developed nations when it comes to early learning and child care programs.
Remember that in 2008 Canada tied for last place in a UNICEF report card on family support policies, including child care, in 25 developed countries. These findings parallel those reported in the OECD Family Database, which shows that, overall, support for families is relatively weak in Canada as measured by a combination of cash supports, tax benefits, and services such as child care.
To remedy this situation, in our December Federal pre-budget online consultation submission, we urged the government to allocate additional funds to begin building a quality, affordable, democratically-controlled child care system. The all-party Federal Standing Committee on Finance agreed, recommending that the federal government increase transfer payments to participating provinces and territories accordingly.
We also reminded the federal government of a recent Canadian study showing that building a publicly-funded child care system is one of the largest - if not the largest - economic boosters available. Every dollar invested in child care programs increases GDP (economic output) by $2.30 and even in the short term, more than 90% of the cost of hiring child care workers goes back to governments as increased revenue. In response, the Liberals and NDP both acknowledge the importance of building a national child care program.
Canada's proud Olympic record shows what our country and its people are capable of when provided with adequate resources and supports. Sadly, when it comes to supporting children and families with early care and learning, Canada's federal government seems content with last place.