Canadians need quality child care all families can afford, not “child care” cheques for teenagers and tax breaks for the wealthy

Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada 

In today’s federal budget, politics and ideology trump good sense with Harper’s Universal “Child Care” Benefit and income splitting giveaways calculated to cost taxpayers almost $8 billion by 2017.

“Building a universal child care system would benefit many more families than cheques or income splitting ever could,” said CCAAC board member Ruth Bancroft. “Public investment in a national child care system would pay for itself, create a more sustainable economy and a more equal society.  Accessing safe, quality child care shouldn’t be a matter of luck for families. Helping families with this should be a priority for the Government of Canada.”

Child care advocates are joined by think tanks and experts from across the political spectrum in criticizing the Harper government’s take on family policy. A recent report from the Parliamentary Budget Office states that more than half the money spent on the expanded UCCB will go to families without child care expenses of any kind. Additionally, the $160/month cheque can pay for only a small fraction of child care fees for 0-5 year olds, which are often more than $1200/month.

“Canadian parents know that Harper’s cheques in the mail are a drop in the bucket when it comes to paying for child care”, said CCAAC board member Dominique Arbez.

The PBO budget watchdog found that income splitting will benefit fewer than 1 in 6 families, while costing taxpayers $2.2 billion this year.

“Until income splitting came along, I thought the Universal “Child Care” Benefit was the worst piece of social policy I’d ever seen”, said Toronto-based researcher Martha Friendly.

The Harper government is also increasing the Child Care Expense Deduction (CCED), another tax break benefiting wealthy families most, described as “the more you have, the more you get”.

“This budget does nothing to address Canada’s growing child care crisis. The budget does not create safe, quality child care spaces nor does it make child care affordable for families.  This represents a missed opportunity to strengthen the economy and build a better Canada for all of us.” said CCAAC board member Carolyn Ferns.


Carolyn Ferns
Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, Toronto
416-538-0628 x 4

Martha Friendly
Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Toronto

Dominique Arbez (FR)
Université de Saint-Boniface, Winnipeg
Téléphone : 204-237-1818, poste 739

Sharon Gregson
Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC, Vancouver