Update on Childcare in Canada

Tuesday, July 27 2010

Have you been wondering: “Whatever happened to the Tory child care spaces initiative?”

You may have noticed that there has been a flurry of media reports in past couple days about the initiative – or lack thereof.

A Year Later: No Space, No Plan

In January 2005, Prime Minister Harper announced the initiative. At the end of the summer, former Minister of Human Resources and Social Development (HRSDC), Hon. Diane Finley, created an advisory committee to do a pan-Canadian consultation and committed to reporting on this consultation in the fall. It is now a new year - and there is still no indication of when the report will be released.

So We Delivered the Report

Since they have failed to deliver a report with a plan, Code Blue for Child Care delivered it for them. Making space for child care: Getting good child care policy back on the agenda examines why their Child Care Spaces Initiative won’t work to create the early learning and child care system needed, and proposes policies that reflect research, best practices, domestic and international experience, and what Canadians who were consulted told the federal government they want. To download the report, or a summary of the report, visit the Code Blue for Child Care web site (www.buildchildcare.ca) by following the link below:

http://www.buildchildcare.ca/www/News/Conservative_capital

Where are the Spaces? New HRSD Minister Responds… sort of:

Code Blue called on the new HRSDC Minister, Hon. Monte Solberg, to put this study at the top of his reading list. The next day Solberg issued the following statement in regards to Canada's new Government's Child Care Plan: "Canada's new Government is making progress and delivering on the Universal Child Care Plan” But still no word on the Spaces Initiative. (You can read the full statement at the following link: http://www.ccnnewswire.com/news/releases/search.jsp?pagesize=25&keyword=child%20care%20and%20statement&interval=&tm=past)

The Evidence Shows that the Spaces Initiative is Bad Public Policy and Canadians Need a Comprehensive Plan

The report calls on the Conservative government to:

  1. Restore multiyear federal funding to the provinces to begin building child care systems. As a starting place, this would include provincial and territorial Action Plans that meet the principles of quality, universality, accessibility and developmental programming; intergovernmental work on data and monitoring, research, quality and community involvement.
  2. Replace the Child Care Spaces Initiative with dedicated capital transfers to the provinces and territories to be used to build ELCC services that communities prioritize, own, deliver and account for.
  3. Enact Federal Child Care Legislation. An Early Learning and Child Care Act passed Second Reading in Parliament on November 22 and will now go to committee for review. This landmark legislation is designed to protect and build quality child care for future generations. Its enactment would be a major step forward for children and working families in Canada.
  4. Provide effective income supports to Canadian families through incorporating the current taxable family allowance into the Canada Child Tax Benefit.

To download the report, or a summary of the report, visit the Code Blue for Child Care web site (www.buildchildcare.ca) by following the link below:

http://www.buildchildcare.ca/www/News/Conservative_capital

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