on December 11, 2014 by test_editor in Archive_2014, December, Print Articles, Comments Off on December 11, 2014: Affordable Childcare; Let’s Make It Standard.

December 11, 2014: Affordable Childcare; Let’s Make It Standard.

December 11, 2014: Affordable Childcare;
Let’s Make It Standard.

By Paul Dewar, MP.

As the lucky father of two boys, I know the importance of quality childcare. Yet for the past decade, federal governments have failed to deliver. Canadians know that the best investment we can make is in a comfortable and safe childhood for our children.

That’s why I am so proud that NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has proposed a straightforward and sensible idea: every Canadian family should have access to good, affordable childcare.

The plan is simple. The NDP will invest $1.9 billion per year over the next four years to create 370,000 new early childhood education and childcare spaces across the country. We’ll work to make childcare programs respond to local needs. Parents won’t pay more than $15, per day, per child. And we’ll enshrine this program in law so that parents can depend on it.

Under Stephen Harper a single infant childcare space in Ontario can cost up to $2000 per month. On average, childcare costs are nearly one-fifth of the average family income.

In First Nation communities, a shocking 78% of children aged 5 and under do not have access to licensed child care services. According to the OECD, Canada now ranks dead last among 14 comparable countries on public investment in early childhood education as a percentage of GDP.

A research survey by TD Bank showed that every dollar invested in early childhood education returns between $1.49 and $2.78 through increased tax revenues when parents return to the workplace, and decreased social spending later on – up to 178 percent.

The question is not whether governments can afford to support early childhood education and childcare programs – it’s whether they can afford not to.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives are offering to send families an extra $60 per month – a mere 5% of the average cost of childcare for an infant in Ontario.

Stephen Harper’s plan would also give families a discount at tax time – but the savings would mainly benefit the wealthiest families. The Liberals, for their part, have no plan to speak of.

Canadian families deserve access to high-quality, affordable childcare. The NDP has a plan to give families that option.

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